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Posts Tagged ‘Corniglia’

I was not aware of the ferocity of the recent floods in the Cinque Terre until I saw some of the clips on YouTube. It is easy to see how these small villages were ravaged by the tide of mud and debris which flowed down from the steep slopes behind them. However, the local people are resilient and have already begun the clean-up operation with the few resources they have available at the present time.

An estimated 35,000 cubic meters of debris now needs to be removed from the main street in Vernazza – these photographs show the scale of the damage. The Navy have delivered a large bulldozer to help with the removal of debris from Piazza Marconi, but the streets are too narrow in the rest of the town. There is still no water, electricity or gas in the village and the mayor said yesterday that “Vernazza’s drama is understimated by local press” and has asked for help.

The positive attitude and community effort of the locals is apparent in the statement on the Cinque Terre blog: “At this moment and for several months to come Vernazza is on its knees. Most of the people have lost EVERYTHING, the entire economy is vanished and that’s the reason why we need toursts to keep coming, to help us to recover. We’ll remake Vernazza and Monterosso more beautiful than before but we need everyone’s help.”

The village of Corniglia, my favourite of the five villages and one in which I have stayed several times, seems to have escaped damage from the floods, although there is no access by road.

Please continue to remember the people of these villages in your thoughts and prayers.

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The dramatic coastline and sheer beauty of the Cinque Terre is something which has encouraged me to return several times. Walking the coastal path which links the five villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso) it is easy to see how the landscape has been adapted over generations to allow local farmers to cultivate grapes and olives; terraces supported by dry-stone walls have been created on the steep cliffs leading down to the sea.

It is the view from above which gives a wonderful impression of the hard work undertaken over hundreds of years to create this famous landscape. Sadly, however, it also demonstrates how treacherous the landscape can be – and how torrential rain can cause so much devastation, covering the villages with torrents of mud and debris.

 

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