Death toll from north-east Italian floods rises to 13

Residents of San Pancrazio after the floods (REUTERS/Antonio Denti) (ANTONIO DENTI/)

Rescue teams have located five corpses on Thursday afternoon, so the number of fatalities caused by severe flooding in the region of Emilia Romagna (northeast) already rises to at least 13 peoplewhile the search continues for the missing.

The last five bodies were located in the vicinity of the city of ravennaon the Adriatic coast, and correspond, according to local media, to elderly people who could not leave their homes before the water left them completely flooded.

Early in the afternoon, the bodies of a 73-year-old man and his 71-year-old wife were found in their apartment in Russi, after his son alerted emergency teams that he had lost contact with them.

Later, another elderly couple was identified who was bedridden in their home in Sant’Agata sul Santerno and another elderly man from Castel Bolognese who decided not to leave his home when an emergency evacuation was announced.

Some media speak of a 14th fatality, which would correspond to a citizen who disappeared in Boncellino during the floods, which have caused more than 20,000 evacueesas well as enormous damage that has affected electrical and telephone lines and viability in the area.

The weather forecast has improved in recent hours, although it could rain again during the weekendand schools in cities such as Bologna and Casalecchio will open although the state of emergency continues to be declared throughout the region.

The floods in Emilia Romagna have caused damage “for several billion euros,” said the president of this northeastern Italian region, Stefano Bonaccini, who calculated that six months of rain has fallen in 36 hours.

“The 30 million assigned by the Government are welcome and I appreciate that they make them available immediately, but here we are talking about billions of euros in damages only due to the tragedy of May 2 and 3, when four-month-old water fell in 36 hours, while yesterday and the day before yesterday six months of water did it in 36 hours,” he explained on Italian public television RAI.

In the provinces of Forlí, Ravena, Cesena, Ravena there are entire towns under water, a situation that could worsen in the next few hours, since the level of almost all the rivers continues to be above the emergency threshold.

Also, more than 5,000 farms They are inundated, with drowned animals and tens of thousands of hectares under water, reported Coldiretti, Italy’s largest agricultural and livestock association.

The Government, which has convened an extraordinary Council of Ministers next Tuesday, announced that it will allocate 20 million, which will add to the 10 million already approved a couple of weeks ago when the region suffered another flood, for the first emergencies, in addition to suspending the tax obligations and mortgages for a while.

(With information from EFE)

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