Winds gusting up to 180 kmh hammered Italy’s north west coastline on 29th and 30th October, with flood waves of enormous force and topping 10m crashing onto the shore, and causing substantial damage in ports in Liguria
In the resort of Rapallo, a dock wall 30m long and 4m high was destroyed by a single wave and a number of mega-yachts were destoyed or badly damaged.
The port of Genoa got off relatively lightly, said Paolo Emilio Signorini, President of AdSP, the port authority for Genoa and Savona, although some quays at the ship repair yard were damaged, along with a crane belonging to Ente Bacini Srl at the naval yard.
In addition, however, at ILVA steel group’s terminal in the Sampierdarena area of the port, a low profile ship-to-shore gantry crane was blown along the quay and crashed into a coil loader. Fortunately there were no injuries, but it is not clear whether either or both cranes can be repaired or will have to be scrapped.
The most serious damage occurred in the Port of Savona, where no less than 1000 new cars were destroyed by a huge fire at SAT Savona Auto Terminal. The terminal was inundated by giant waves on Monday night (29th) and it is thought that this short-circuited the power supplies that spread into the interior of the terminal in a "domino effect."
Storm waves completely overwhelmed the breakwater and covered the whole terminal. The burnt out cars were awaiting export shipment from the Grimaldi-operated terminal and included a number of very expensive Maserati models destined for the Middle East.
The quay was damaged and part of the berth in Zone 33 is unusable pending reports from divers to assess whether the damage is superficial or requires major repair work.
In all, 70m of quay wall was destroyed in Vado Ligure. Several fender boats were destroyed, while some sheds and storage tanks in the port were seriously damaged. Just a week before the storm, a fire had broken out during the working day in AdSP’s new building in Savona! Nobody was hurt, but 40 people had to be evacuated and AdSP has temporarily returned to its former offices on Via Gramsci.