Huan Song, Paradise Lost: Exploring the Perceptual Differences of the 2011 Cinque Terre Disaster
The mountainous part of the Ligurian coast between Cinque Terre and Portovenere was named as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 for its representation of harmonious interaction between people and nature. Presently, tourism has taken over as the main occupation of the Cinque Terre which hosts around 2 million visitors a year. On October 25, 2011, an intense rainstorm swiped through the region and inflicted serious damages to the villages of Monterosso and Vernazza. Rain, carrying rocks, soil, and grape plants flooded Vernazza and buried the town under more than 13 feet of mud and debris. Three residents of Vernazza died from over 100 landslides that day and the town of Vernazza suffered over 100 million Euros worth of damages. This study examines the differences in the perception of the cause of this disaster and future prevention methods between the local residents, the tourists, and the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre. Perception from each of the three groups could have significant implications on the allocation of aid money and relief efforts to rebuild the Cinque Terre.