Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region remains on red alert for heavy rain as rescue work continues

The italian region of Emilia-Romagna (north) will continue this Saturday in Red alert by strong rains while the rescue and assistance work for the population continues after the floods this week, which have left at least 14 dead and 15 displaced.

The Civil Protection has decreed for all this Saturday the “red alert” in part of Emilia-Romagnain particular on its coastline on the Adriatic Sea and the provinces of Ravenna, Bologna and Forlì-Cesena.

This is due to the imminence of a new rainfall front, although the regional meteorological agency of Emilia-Romagna (ARPAE) has reported that the rains will be “extended” but of “weak intensity”.

The intense rainfall between last Tuesday and Wednesday have overflowed numerous rivers and flooded entire towns, causing at least 14 deaths, according to the latest report, thousands of displaced persons and considerable material losses.

In the province of ravennathe most affected area, have already been evacuated 27,775 people and many of them have been relocated to hotels or Civil Protection facilities.

It is a unique emergency of its kind, which has not occurred for more than 100 years.”, declared the Prefect of Ravenna, castrese de rosa.

Five lifeless bodies were found on Thursday afternoon: the farmer couple Delio and Dorotea Foschini, aged 73 and 71, who died at their home in the province of Ravenna, while the bodies of two men and a 95-year-old woman.

Photo from Friday of a flooded street in Lugo, in the Italian region of Emilia Romagna. May 19, 2023. REUTERS/Claudia Greco (CLAUDIA GRECO/)

The authorities continue to assist the population without pause and in the last few hours have focused on restoring essential public services such as drinking water, the lack of which was one of the main fears during the disaster.

Likewise, in a large part of the affected area, electricity and telephone lines have been recovered.

On Friday afternoon there were still “many” municipalities that suffered the effects of the floods, especially Cerviawhile it was still “criticism” the situation in Consise due to the overflow of the Sillaro River.

Other towns like Lugo, Brisighella or Casola Valsenio They recorded “numerous” landslides.

A man rides a bicycle through flood waters after heavy rains hit Italy's Emilia Romagna region, in Lugo, Italy, May 19, 2023. REUTERS/Claudia Greco
A man rides a bicycle through flood waters after heavy rains hit the Italian region of Emilia Romagna, in Lugo, Italy, May 19, 2023. REUTERS/Claudia Greco (CLAUDIA GRECO/)

The president of the Emilia Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccinistated in the last hours that “the situation is truly dramatic in many areas. We had decreed a meteorological alert with the closure of schools and limitation of movement, but the amount of water that fell in some areas exceeded that which fell two weeks ago, which was already an unprecedented amount.

The President of Italy, Sergio Mattarellacontacted Bonaccini to express his “closeness and solidarity” with the affected populations.

The prime minister, Giorgia MeloniHe also expressed his “total closeness to the affected population” and, through Twitter, stated that the Government was closely following the events and was prepared to provide help.

With the arrival of the new storm, the “Orange alert” by hydrogeological risk in other regions like Piedmont, Lombardy (north), Calabria and Sicily (south).

The Government will hold an extraordinary Council of Ministers next Tuesday to allocate 20 million euros (21.64 million dollars) in immediate assistance and suspend tax obligations and bill payments to all those affected.

Weather catastrophes are increasing in Italy. Heavy rains in Emilia Romagna followed weeks of drought that dried up the land, reducing its water absorption capacity and worsening the impact of floods.

(With information from EFE)

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