Fifteen rivers burst their banks after heavy storms across country cause landslides and submerge villages
Heavy storms that wrecked havoc in Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy have resulted in five fatalities and thousands of house evacuations. These storms also caused significant floods and landslides.
After fifteen rivers overflowed their banks and flooded entire towns, people sought safety on the rooftops of their homes.
According to Rai News, the prefect of Forl-Cesena verified the five fatalities. According to Corriere della Sera, fatalities included an elderly man and a couple who ran an agriculture-related business. Unknown if she was killed in the storms, the body of a German lady was discovered on a beach near Cesenatico, a town on the Adriatic coast.
The civil protection service for Italy warned on Wednesday that things may become worse. The agency’s head, Titti Postiglione, told SkyTG24 news that the rain will keep coming for a few hours. “The situation we are in is very, very complicated.”
Italy has seen significant rain in recent days, but Emilia-Romagna and portions of the central Marche region, where 12 people perished in floods in September, have been the worst-affected regions.
People in Faenza, a city in the province of Ravenna, could be heard screaming for aid in a video that was posted on social media. The mayor of Faenza, Massimo Isola, remarked, “We had a night that we will never forget. Such flooding has never occurred in our city; it is inconceivable.
The mayor of Cesena, Enzo Lattuca, said: “The situation is disastrous, it’s a catastrophe, and the rain has not yet stopped.” Residents of Cesena waded into floodwaters to save others.
He said that as of Wednesday morning, the River Savio was once more beginning to swell.
Heavy rain, floods, and landslides have severely damaged Emilia-Romagna and portions of Marche.
Overnight, a bridge in the Bologna region that connected Motta-Budrio and San Martino collapsed. It is not safe to approach, the Italian fire department advised. “A nearby gas pipeline appears to be impacted as well.”
In Ravenna, 5,000 residents had to leave their houses. Michele de Pascale, the mayor of Ravenna, said on Rai radio that “it’s probably the worst night in the history of Romagna.” “Ravenna has sustained such damage that it is no longer recognisable.”
The mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, said that landslides had blocked off mountain settlements on the Romagna side of the Mugello valley.
The Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, said on social media that she felt “totally close to the affected population” and that the government was actively watching the situation.
The government will “do everything to help the population hit by the flooding in Emilia-Romagna,” according to Antonio Tajani, the deputy prime minister.
“From those evacuated to the agricultural companies that have lost entire harvests,” he continued. “The volunteers and rescue teams are heroes. I offer prayers to the victims’ families.
Italy, a nation that is seen as being particularly sensitive to climate change, has seen an increase in weather-related tragedies. Early in May, there was also major flooding in Emilia-Romagna and portions of Marche, which resulted in the deaths of two individuals.
Legambiente, an environmental organisation, reports that 310 extreme weather occurrences were recorded in 2022, Italy’s warmest year on record, and 29 people died as a result. On the island of Ischia, a landslip in late November claimed the lives of 12 individuals, some of whom were youngsters.
Ispra, the environmental agency of the Italian government, stated in a study from 2021 that 7,423 communities (93.4% of the total) in the entire nation were at risk of landslides, floods, and coastline erosion. The government hasn’t done anything to reduce the risk, though.
Emilia-Romagna and other northern Italian regions were plagued by a drought that dried up the ground and reduced its ability to absorb water before the most recent floods.