The flooding was in Northern Italy, in the Cinque Terre, on October 25th, and two of the smaller towns, Vernazza and Monterosso were hit very hard. Vernazza has been basically wiped out, and the devastation has been terrible. The mud and water damage has literally wiped out the entire central infrastructure—no gas, electricity, and so forth—in addition to incredible damage to the architectural and cultural heritage of the towns themselves.

A local donation initiative has been set up by local Vernazza residents, www.SaveVernazza.com. It provides excellent footage of the video and photo images of the actual devastation, the cleanup efforts under way, and pre-post flood visuals, which certainly dramatically show the massive task at hand to salvage the town. Its aim is to get donations to help with the repair and cleanup effort. The problem they are encountering is that actually very few people seem to be aware of the massive flood damage.

Broader news coverage of the heroic efforts being made by local residents, volunteers, and professional emergency crews gets little to no attention. This is really problematic because, as a strong tourist site, they have thousands of visitors every year who would probably be willing to provide local donations, if publicity could be broadened. The cultural budgets worldwide are under high pressure, but it would be truly devastating if this type of damage, with such high potential for alternative donations and assistance, simply got lost in the background of it all.