January 18, 2014
Then it rained some more
When is it going to stop? I watch the news from the UK and see continual reports of flooding; it seems there’s no time to clear up before the next onslaught arrives.The suffering is spread widely from West to East and North to South. Some flooding can be blamed on poor planning decisions, allowing new construction on flood plains which give nowhere for the excess water to go, but the bigger – and far less comfortable – truth is that the world’s climate is shifting away from what we’ve grown accustomed to and towards a more unpredictable, extreme character. Every year sees new records broken; highest/lowest temperatures, rainfall, wind force, tides and so on.
It’s probably of scant comfort to those affected to know that they’re not alone. The present deluge, for example, is making itself felt along the Riviera and certainly in the steep Alpine valleys that lie just behind it. If we’d wanted to go out yesterday we’d have got as far as the next village only to find a landslip had blocked the road. Such things are becoming all too common, and it makes things difficult because there’s usually only one road to a mountain village. Once it’s blocked that’s it till someone comes to clear away the mess and reopen the road. The village of Pigna, a little further inland from us, has been cut off since yesterday, and the road some friends of ours live on is further blocked, so they have to wait for the first clearance before theirs can even start.
This picture, posted on Facebook, is from the outskirts of Ventimiglia where 17 people were evacuated, fortunately none injured:
Above and beyond Pigna is Castelvittorio, also cut off by a landslide, and we hear that one house – friends of friends as it turns out – disappeared altogether just as the owners stepped out of it. There’s no word of whether it was covered by a landslide or if it slid down the mountainside, but the owners had many pets and livestock so we’re hoping they’re not all lost too.
Even the Riviera itself hasn’t escaped. The main A8 motorway around Monaco was an obstacle course for a while as rocks bounded across the carriageway in pouring rain, and right down on the Bas Corniche, the lowest-level coast road, one stretch was obliterated by a thousand tons of rock. That’ll take a while to clear and the road is expected to be closed for several weeks.
Here’s what Apricale looked like as we approached it this afternoon; a far cry from the usual bright sunshine:
With all the chaos going on we feel mightily relieved that the worst that’s happened to us so far is minor damage to some of our terrace walls, but I’m nervous to report this as good news for fear that our turn may be next. The truth is there’s no way to know where the next disaster will strike, so we’re just praying for the end of this weather – currently due in about three days’ time.
So if you’ve escaped any damage may your good luck continue, and if you’re suffering you have my sympathy.