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Floods in cinque terra

Travel warning: le Cinque Terre hit by floods, cutting off towns ... www.fodors.com/.../travel-warning-le-cinque- ...
4 hours ago – Travel warning: le Cinque Terre hit by floods, cutting off towns. Posted by: zeppole on Oct 25, 11 at 07:46 ...

Posted by
2 posts

As an American and resident of Monterosso, I can say with all sincerity that Monterosso is still standing, just digging out from the rubble and mud from yesterday's flash flood. Monterosso has once before withstood a flash flood in 1966 and this was worse then yesterday's. The people here are very strong and have already come together to assist one another. The priority right now is making sure everyone, especially the elderly are safe and have what is necessary i.e. drinking water and food staples. Fortunately, we have electricity but the gas lines are broken and most houses are without potable water. A lot of damage has been done to be sure but we have the winter to get things cleaned up-Monterosso is still here, no buildings have been lost. The trains should resume running tomorrow or the next day and there are a few ferries running. The landslides will be cleared within a few days for car traffic in and out of the villages.

Posted by
684 posts

That's terrible. I hope Paula is correct and everything can be saved. I just visited for the first time this past July, staying right on the beachfront in Vernazza for three nights. Loved the evenings on the breakwater. We also spent a lovely day on the beach in Monterosso as well.

Posted by
2819 posts

Yes. Vernazza and Montessoro are under red alert, major landslides cut off many road access (including A12 and its alternative, the Aurelia), and a low of mud and debris washed away Vernazza hills up to its small port. It might take weeks for the cleanup to happen.

Posted by
108 posts

Reports are five dead, many missing, Monterosso Old Town gone...evacuations by sea...heart breaking

Posted by
850 posts

I've been looking at the photos in The Telegraph, and they really are heartbreaking. The mayor of Monterosso has said, "Monterosso doesn't exist anymore." I recognized the awning of a restaurant where I had dinner last year, and the mud is halfway up the windows. To top it off, my boss was just there on his honeymoon; he and his wife left there for Rome on Monday.

Posted by
257 posts

OMG, I had the best lunch in old town Monterosso last May, how sad.

Posted by
11681 posts

Looking at the news photos and videos---this is terrible.

Posted by
30971 posts

I hadn't heard about this until yesterday, but I've been watching coverage on the Italian news channels and it is heartbreaking to see the devastation. Relief efforts are underway, and it appears that the Army has been mobilized. I haven't seen any footage of Vernazza yet, but I did see video of the situation in Monterosso. It appears that the flood bypassed the storm drains that empty into the bay and instead ran through the main street. My recent visit there was absolutely one of the highlights of my trip, and my thoughts and prayers are certainly with all of the wonderful people there. There was another report about flooding in Tuscany, but I couldn't understand all the dialogue so wasn't able to determine where this occurred? There's another newscast in 15-minutes, so I'll tune-in to get the latest update. ** Update - after watching some of the Italian news coverage, the devastation is far worse than I ever imagined. One aerial shot of what I think is Vernazza was especially upsetting. They also mentioned weather issues in Calabria and Sicily, so the entire country seems to be affected by this. **

Posted by
2874 posts

I hadn't heard this news! We also have really special memories from our trip to the Cinque Terre in October, 2001 just a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks! After all of the turmoil in the U.S. it felt like the safest place in the world. Thanks for posting!

Posted by
1843 posts

Since thanks for posting this and letting us know, as well as everyone who posted updates. We had not heard about this (and we try very hard to keep up with world news), so we are shocked. We understand other places in Italy were also impacted. Cinque Terre is a very special place, and our heart and prayers are with all who live there and who were visiting there, as well as the other affected communities in Italy.

Posted by
30971 posts

@paula, Thanks for posting! It's great to get a first-hand on the situation there. Based on your comments, I gather that the Mayor of Monterosso was premature in his comments that "Monterosso no longer exists". From what I can determine, only the "old town" was affected by the floods? From what I've seen of news reports on Italian TV, the damage is likely worse in Vernazza. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you!

Posted by
87 posts

Paula, thank you for posting. The mayor's remarks alarmed us greatly. All the best to you and everyone there. I hope to come back some day.

Posted by
1446 posts

How terribly sad & unfortunate! The Cinque Terre is a very special place to me and I was really looking forward to visiting there again next year. My thoughts are with those affected by this disaster.

Posted by
389 posts

This may sound cold and misanthropic, but aren't there other, more deserving candidates for our charity contributions? I can only imagine that, due to the massive tourist industry and tiny population, the Cinque Terre has been one of the most well-off parts of Italy per capita. Insurance exists in Italy, right? Of course I'm all for helping a resident who's lost everything, but not a hotel or business owner who will go back to being massively profitable.

Posted by
11681 posts

For those who might want to help . . . The discussion on Fodors has details on how to contribute. A bank account for disaster relief has been set up by an Italian newspaper and TV station. It is in the "Europe" forum on Fodors: flygirl posted the link above.

Posted by
2 posts

Can you provide a link to the site? Flygirl's post does not show the complete address. After the area has provided us so much joy, it's the least we can do.

Posted by
35 posts

This is terrible news. Seeing the devastation is surreal. We just were in CT less than a month ago, and stayed in Vernazza which looks to be paralyzed at this time. I cannot imagine the pain the tourists and residents are feeling right now.

Posted by
11681 posts

I am thinking of the families that live there but are not insured business owners---the ones whose gardens and vineyards have been destroyed, and their homes filled with mud and debris that will take lots of work to clear.

Posted by
359 posts

I have been reading about the floods/mudslides online and from those in the area and our concern should be for ALL of those in the Cinque Terre. All who live and work in the area will be greatly impacted. Lives have been lost. Yes I am sure those who owned hotels did well during tourist season but they are still working people who even if they have insurance this will be a huge loss to them financially and emotionally.
For those of us who are fans and friends of the area we should show up and support the CT as soon as they are ready for us.

Posted by
11681 posts

If you have stayed there recently, you could also e-mail your host (hotel, hostel, camere, etc.) with a message of support and concern.

Posted by
87 posts

I did what Lola suggested over 2 days ago and have not heard back. I imagine they are too busy either assessing damage or dealing with questions and cancellations. I still think it is a good idea to express concern. Yes, Monterosso is a big tourist spot, but I felt more at home there than anywhere else I went in Italy.
The people at Buranco Agriturismi seemed genuinely glad to have us there, which was not our experience everywhere we went. They are high on the hill over town, so if you are thinking of going soon, they may still be very open for business, depending on what happened in the vineyards. We don't know how much damage they had. It's evidently one of the few agriturismo you can stay at without having access to car.

Posted by
1 posts

Heart-wrenching. I could not believe my eyes when the pictures showed up on my FB news feed. Yes, Will, the grocery stores and restaurants and shops are simply rolling in the dough. They havent led any sort of lives of hardship before the towns exploded 15 years ago. They dont work long hours and deal with often thankless and thoughtless tourists invading their towns and completely changing the atmosphere of the place they lived all their lives. After they each get to collect their cool .5 million they're going to get right on with their lives in no time as if nothing ever happened. The local government surely has more than enough money and resources to rebuild a town - oh sorry I meant two towns, at least - especially after this scandal:
http://blog.seattlepi.com/rickstevestravel/2011/05/19/the-cinque-terre-national-park-in-disarray/ Did you know there are other smaller towns in those same hills that arent part of the Cinque Terre and dont even see that tourist money? But you're right, there has to be some place that's been more destroyed and much much poorer that is actually worth some charity. Those people dont deserve it. Put your head back in your hole in the ground.

Posted by
2762 posts

Joe, you appear to be new here, but I like you already! Many people have blamed Rick Steves for "ruining" the Cinque Terre. What if there were now an outpouring of love, support, and yes, even money, to the people of Cinque Terre from the Ricksters? Think about it. What can be wrong with saying " we care about you" and maybe contributing to help?

Posted by
135 posts

I just got an email from Il Pirata in Vernazza. The debris is so deep that you cannot see the ground floor- the bar/restaurant is completely buried. Massimo and Gianluca had to take a boat to get to Vernazza- the road and railroad are both washed out. No food, no water, no electricity.
Regardless of what these folks have or have not earned from us, most of us have experienced the kindness and friendliness of the residents of Vernazza. They deserve/need our support. It'll be quite a while before the residents can even move 'back home'. This is just so sad.

Posted by
1 posts

We're very sorry for the people of Cinque Terre. Having just been there is September it's unbelievable to see what nature, and possibly incompetence or corruption by local politicians has done to them. They are tough people though and will recover from this. As far as donations for recovery are concerned, the Italian Red Cross has an on-line donation site. You can dedicate your donation to the "Emergency in Liguria and Tuscany". They accept all major credit cards. It's in Italian only so you have to use Google translator. The form does not accept North American zip codes or states/ provinces so use an Italian one in stead. There are sites that list Italian zip codes. Here's the link to the Red Cross site if you are interested: http://cri.it/flex/FixedPages/IT/Donazioni.php/L/IT

Posted by
7735 posts

One of the nice things about charitable giving is that we all get to choose those charities that most appeal to us individually. And let's try to remember the Community Guidelines here. #3. Be polite. Comments that contain inappropriate language, harshly criticize, or disrespect others' opinions are not allowed.

Posted by
1 posts

My son in law is from Vernazza and my daughter has posted many pictures and videos of the damage there on Face book. They live in Seattle, but his family is all in the area/having run one of the restaraunts there. The family has all gone to La Spezia to escape and all are devastated but thankfully, all safe. My son in law and my daughter are in total shock as well as feeling helpless right now. It is a real mess from what she said as well as looking at the Face Book pictures. It would be so nice to go back there as soon as possible to help them clean and rebuild. When we were there for their wedding, it was such a marvelous place. The people are so nice and do not deserve all this.

Posted by
63 posts

28/10/2011] Vernazza to be evacuated? it's a possible evolution of the near future since several houses seem to be severely damaged, still there's no water, no gas and no electricity. Today estimates says 35.000 cubic meters of debrees (!) have to be removed from the main street of the town, a new river-bed in place of the old one...One big Caterpillar taken in place by the Navy is operating near the seaside ( Piazza Marconi) where the space is wide enough; inside, only small buldozzer can acceede the internal street, it will be a long way to the recover.. video, pictures and s on this post about <a href="http://www.cinqueterre.com/blog/alluvione-alle-5-terre-foto-e-video&quot;&gt;Cinque Terre Flood</a>. + a request for Mr. Rick Steves launched on twitter, people are asking to donate from US, we think Rick is very reliable and very much in touch with our 5 terre, he seems to be the one who may help a lot our community to recover setting up a "donate" campaign for US citizens, what do you think?..thank you for your attention on our terrible situation.
Andrea from Cinque Terre - Italy

Posted by
1446 posts

I emailed hotel Pasquale in Monterroso to express my support & I received a reply. They said they are okay & are working to fix the damage to hopefully re-open in March 2012.

Posted by
252 posts

I have been following this story through my friend, Luca, on Facebook. He lives in Riomaggiore, and is in Monterosso helping with cleanup right now along with some of his friends. Others he knows are in Vernazza. The community spirit and togetherness of the Cinque Terre-ens are heartwarming and wonderful! The photos I'm seeing on Luca's page really pull at the ol' heartstrings in both ways: because of the devastation and because of the sense of community they all are exhibiting.

Posted by
2819 posts

Paul, these floods were like a once-in-a-century event. Considering the fierce of the storm (it rained up to 3 feet in 24 hours in certain places, and the hilly terrain make it easier for mudslides), the rescue operation has been quite successful and, bleak as it might sound, causalities were few and far in between. Should a similar storm hit a 3rd World unprepared hilly country, causalities would be measured on the hundreds, not the units.

Posted by
7735 posts

And here's that active link in English: Italian Red Cross Choose the first item from the drop down list of donation causes - "Emergency Tuscany and Liguria." They accept major credit cards and Paypal.

Posted by
653 posts

Paul, the unpreparedness is in large part due to the rugged location of the terrain, as posted earlier - think of the California coast during mudslide season, except that California has grown to expect this kind of upheaval, whereas Cinque Terre has not.

Posted by
7735 posts

Please, out of respect for the citizens of the CT, let's not let this topic devolve into an argument about global warming. Not here. Thank you.

Posted by
5 posts

This was one of the stops for my trip next Summer. Should I still go or should I plan for somewhere else? Either way this is very sad news to hear and my thoughts and prayers are with the local residents.

Posted by
30971 posts

Noah Z., Should you go there - ABSOLUTELY!!! A few things to consider...... > It's likely that the two towns most affected by this disaster will at least be partially back to normal by next summer, and will need all the support they can get from tourism. > There are three other towns in the Cinque Terre that weren't affected, so you could also stay there. > The C.T. and the people that live there are fantastic, and I'd have no hesitation in travelling there next year (in fact, I'll probably add it to the list for next year even though I normally only return there every few years). One suggestion though - BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS EARLY! Also, be sure to try the wonderful Pesto in the area where it was invented, and perhaps a glass or two of Schiachetra (hopefully I spelled that correctly). Cheers!

Posted by
12040 posts

This sort of thing happens to varying degrees on the Rhine, Neckar and Mosel all the time. They always recover. Something tells me the Cinque Terra will be back as well. I'm guessing that most of these business owners had property insurance... but this being Italy, who knows...

Posted by
2 posts

I've long dreamed of visiting Cinque Terre. I was devastated to hear about the horrible news, especially since I was set to stay at Camere Guiliano Nov. 19. I'm guessing this will be virtually impossible right now and I'm quite sad about it.

Posted by
30971 posts

Sara, Given the fact that you've "long dreamed of visiting the C.T.", don't give up! While you won't be able to stay in Vernazza this November, you could possibly stay in Riomaggiore, Manarola or Corniglia (although keep in mind that many tourist facilities in the C.T. start to close for the season at this time of year). Is there any possibility of re-scheduling a visit to the C.T. for your next trip? Good luck and Happy Travels!

Posted by
11681 posts

It is Italy. Insurance may take a long time to pay. In the meantime, the towns have no drinking water, no gas, no electricity, and the ground floor of many buildings is buried in mud. What would you do in that situation? How would you cope? Probably leave until things were tolerable, but someone needs to stay and help dig out, and save what can be saved. Those who are helping need food and water, and a warm and dry place to sleep. I would say this area deserves all the help we can give. But at the same time do not forget the earthquake victims in Turkey.

Posted by
2762 posts

Tom in Germany, what do you mean when you say this happens in villages along the Rhein, Neckar, and Mosel all the time? Are you talking about the rivers level rising to flood stage, inundating the town? That is totally different from a hillside town being inundated with mud that covers buildings up to the second level, sweeping away cars knocking down buildings, killing people. Please do not minimize this disaster.

Posted by
12040 posts

Not trying to minimize anything, I'm just noting that in case anyone is worried that the Cinque Terra will never recover, or that it will be irreparably changed forever... it probably will recover, once they get through this crisis. And the change will probably be marginal. I haven't seen pictures, so I don't know the extent of the damage... but yes, every few years, there are floods and mudslides in the river valleys that cause a fair amount of damage. Similar settlements occupying a precarious strip of land between water and the mountains can recover from periodic natural disasters. I was hoping to shed some positive light on a rough situation, not to brush it aside.

Posted by
2819 posts

Geez, we do not need to answer a discussion of "my fav place's disaster is bigger than theirs". This being said, natural disasters have struck small towns of tourist interest before in Italy, mainly earthquakes (Assisi, Salerno, L'Aquila (recent - 2009) etc) but also floods or massive mud-snow landslides in Alpine valleys before. Vernazza will recover, and if past events shed some lights on how the process work, this is what one could expect: - immediate rescue is usually efficient, most people have already been evacuated. - the <i>buildings</i> will have insurance and the payout will be likely enough to rebuild/restore or demolish and build new. This kind of insurance is relatively common. - in worse situation will be the business themselves, majority of which are renters. Most small business don't bother with loss of income insurance, and while the people involved will have some assistance (from unemployment insurance to emergency welfare payments), a sizable number of restaurants, hotels and the like will go under and become bankrupt. - knowing this, many property owners will cash out and move out faced with uncertainty about the business or local population that pay them rents. - the scenario will open an window of opportunity for new investors and entrepreneurs to come in an bring a fresh air to the restaurant/lodging/wine shop scene. So Vernazza will make a comeback and it can be exciting to see new business around town, refreshing the place after the recovery.

Posted by
2762 posts

Of course they will recover. The point of sending aid is to help with the immediate situation.

Posted by
30971 posts

I wanted to post a note regarding donations to assist with the relief efforts. I checked the Croce Rossa website that's been mentioned in several of the Blogs, and found that it's not entirely "functional" for accepting donations from those living outside of Italy. I've also been in contact this morning with someone living in that area, and she reports that even those living in Italy have been having trouble with the website. I'd be interested to know whether anyone from outside of Italy has successfully made donations using the Croce Rossa website? I'd be happy to make a donation if they can get the "technical problems" sorted. Cheers!

Posted by
275 posts

My tears are for the pain of my friends. I am praying for their lives, and their safety. They can, and will rebuild, and we will indeed return. In fact, we will return in mass to help in whatever way we can when the time is right. Until then, remeber that they are our friends, and they need our help. Not our thoughtless diatribes about the wealth of small fishing villages. Obviously some who post here have missed the spirit of this place. That is sad, or maybe a good thing, since maybe Will, will not go back! I weep for these people and I will return soon to do what I can.
JCM

Posted by
30971 posts

An update to my previous post about making donations on the Croce Rossa website. Although the website is not entirely straightforward to use, I was finally successful in making a donation to the Tuscany & Liguria relief efforts. More storms are expected this weekend, so I'm sure the residents will still need help.

Posted by
3696 posts

As this thread appears to be ending.... why don't we end on a positive note....and for those of us who have lovely memories of CT and hope for more memories in the future let's hope all donations are used in an appropriate manner and the beauty of CT will be there to enjoy once again.

Posted by
108 posts

More sad news - more flooding, Friday Genoa was hit hard, six dead...