It was like a punch in the gut a week ago, (October 25, 2011) when I heard that the Cinque Terre had been devastated by flood waters and mud. I had been in those five towns in 2008. I photographed them with an intensity and passion that yielded a sort of intimate affection for the area. Take a look. The colorful beauty, the resourcefulness, the geometric, playful stacking… and the few people that I was able to talk to at the time, (due to my own language limitations) made me easily love the Cinque Terre.
In last week’s flooding, the towns of Vernazza – one of my favorites – and Monterosso were especially hard hit. An Italian friend wrote to me and said “Cinque Terre is destroyed. So sad.” I was speechless. As I looked at photos and videos online, I saw buildings I had photographed, places I had stood, things I knew. This made Vernazza’s flooding more personal.
Though this site is in Italian, the pictures tell the whole story. Move the central cursor line back and forth to see before-and-after images.
This video shows the rush of water and mud flowing through the center of Vernazza:
Watch as cars tumble through the streets and out to sea in Vernazza:
Cinque Terre’s regional blog has many videos and photos showing the destruction caused by the flood. http://www.cinqueterre.com/blog/
This video shows the torrent rushing through the town of Monterosso:
More news reports:
This blogger, Nicole, gives an overview of the cleanup efforts: http://culturalcomments.blogspot.com/2011/10/disaster-strikes-vernazza.html
Reports are many, and astounding. Do an internet search on “Vernazza flood” and you can read for hours. Personally, I remain stunned.