Last week, the Italian region of Liguria was hit by torrential rains which created devastating floods in the beautiful Cinque Terre, especially Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza. What started off as a much needed rain storm quickly turned into a terrifying reality that this was not your run-of-the-mill rain storm – this one was going to cause so much damage that the Red Cross and the Protezione Civile of Italy have declared it a national emergency. In fact, many nations and individuals have come to the aid of this ravaged area. There are numerous sites to donate money for relief, and if you are interested, simply doing a search online can put you into contact with one that you feel comfortable with. During the storm, and since that day, the beautiful coastal town of Vernazza has been virtually cut off from all communication – the phone lines went down and the only way to get into the town was by boat or helicopter. Relief efforts by way of helicopter were flown in, and the residents banded together to help make dams with sandbags and displaced boulders. The town was literally underwater, with thigh high water running down the streets from the mountains behind. With all this water, came the horrible mud which caused so much damage to the shops, restaurants and homes in its wake. At last count, only 40 residents were left in Vernazza – those determined residents that are working hard to help bring this wonderland of beauty back. Lifelong residents were forced to leave; packing their few belongings with them. The pictures of overturned cars and boats are so disturbing, knowing that this idyllic place will take so long to be restored.