Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Italy's Cinque Terre devastated by flooding

Several years ago, in 2006 to be precise, I was lucky enough to visit a part of Italy along the Ligurian coast, called the "Cinque Terre" - a breathtaking piece of the Italian Riviera where the land meets the sea in quite a dramatic way:




"Cinque Terre" is Italian for "five lands" - a reference to the 5 quaint seaside towns that appear to defy gravity as they cling to the hillsides here - Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Unfortunately last week, gravity, and several hundred tons of mud, got the better of this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site, as 20 inches of torrential rain fell in just a few hours, flooding streets and swamping the towns with tons of debris and mud.
The devastation was severe, with several lives lost, many more missing, and the 2 worst affected towns being Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza.
Photos such as this one show the volume of water that ploughed through the towns:

It's a national tragedy for Italy, and I hope that the Italian authorities get the necessary aid in quickly, so that this beautiful little slice of the world can get back onto its feet quickly.


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