Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Floods

I don't watch the news on TV. It wasn't a conscious choice as such, I don't seem to have the TV on when the news is or I'm busy doing something else, and I'm also skeptical about the contents at times - with the media as it is in Italy, it's a question of trust, who do you trust to get your news from? - so I prefer to get my news from other sources; namely the internet and the radio. But unfortunately not watching news reports has worked against me during the last couple of weeks or so.

I was very slow picking up the news about the floods in Liguria and Tuscany last Tuesday, and I still feel like I'm playing catch-up now. After torrential rain on Tuesday rivers broke their banks, the area has been devastated. The picturesque Cinque Terre in the Liguria area has been hit especially hard. Two of the towns, Monterosso and Vernazza were cut off from the outside world, and were without electricity gas and water for days. Ten people so far in the area have lost their lives, including one volunteer who was killed whilst he was trying to help the people hit by the floods.

The clean-up operation is well underway, but obviously it's going to take a long time for the area to get back to a state of normality. There are various different ways to donate money to help the operations in the area, if you have an Italian mobile you can text 445500 to donate 2 euro, and you can also ring that number from a landline. 

To donate from abroad you can now go to the Italian Red Cross site and select 'Emergency Tuscany and Liguria' for the donation cause. You can also donate to two bank accounts that have been set up, the first to collect funds for the Cinque Terre area, the second for the La Spezia area:

IBAN: IT64W0603049870000046275829
HEADING: “Un aiuto per Monterosso e Vernazza”
CAUSAL: “Alluvionati 5 Terre”

IBAN: IT11 Y061 7501 4000 0000 3452 080
BIC: CRGEITGG040
CIN: Y
CAB: 01400
HEADING: Società Edizioni e Pubblicazioni (S.E.P.) Spa
CAUSAL: “Alluvione Spezia”

More bad weather is forecast for the next few days, and the entire country is hoping that it will spare these areas that have already been brought to their knees by last week's rain.

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