Sunday, 30 October 2011

Italy's Storm of the Century

Just back to Italy, arriving at midnight to discover that the storm that wiped out one village in the Cinque Terre and buried another, had removed the pathway to our house and deposited it somewhere in the olive grove. We are left with a rutted river bed strewn with rubble. The storm had also tripped our electricity so that the fridge and freezer were full of rotten food - not a good surprise when you open the front door!



But it could have been worse - we can see the Cinque Terre from our terrace and it’s only a few kilometres as the crow flies. Apparently the rain was biblical, making it impossible to drive or walk anywhere for a few hours. 20 inches of rain fell in that time.   Roads turned into rivers and the water brought down rocks, trees, rubble and mud. There are mini landslides all the way up to our village, but nothing major. Different in the Cinque Terre - which is a World Heritage site. The pictures are horrific. In Vernazza rubble and mud have been deposited up to first floor level - filling houses and shops and railway tunnels. In Monterosso, parts of the town were washed completely away.
Rescuing people from 1st floor windows.
This used to be a shop.


Our road and the contents of the freezer fade into insignificance when you look at these pics.  And it's such a delight to be back in Italy - the sun shining, still with some warmth. Our landlords are beginning to pick the olives, though this year apparently they’re small and dry and hardly worth the effort. Too little rain during the summer months. The storm we’ve just had has also stripped the trees of many of the olives that were there. Not much left for oil.  Don't try being a global warming sceptic in the bars round here!!



5 comments:

  1. My God, I had no idea it was so devastating. I hope everyone is dealing with it in that resilient spirit the Italians are so well known for...

    Cathy at While the Dervish Dances (http://cathykozak.com)

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  2. I did wonder if your area had suffered in the storms. I'm so glad your house has survived despite the road and the rotten food. But how awful for those whose homes have been destroyed and lives devastated. I'm glad the sun is still shining and you can feel its warmth.

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  3. We have seen some coverage on the news here, but your post gives it a more personal and 'real' face.

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  4. Hi Kathleen - heavens, as Helen says, the news here has given so little of this storm's reality away. It sounds devastating. I'm relieved to know you and your family are safe. Take best care over there. . .

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  5. How terrible.
    Floods like these make one feel so powerless.
    So helpless.
    So like the scenes in Queensland not quite twelve months ago.
    All the best.

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