At least five deadseveral missing and close to 5,000 people have had to be evacuated due to the floods caused by the heavy rains of the last hours that have seriously affected several towns in the region of Emilia Romagnain the northeast of Italy.
The torrential rains that hit a large part of Italy caused the overflow of up to 14 rivers and torrents as they pass through the cities of Cesena, faenza and Riccionewhich were completely flooded.
At the moment they are counted five people deceased and at least others four missingaccording to the media.
“So far it has been determined five victims, and there could be a sixth in the province of Ravenna, but there is no official statement about it. We do not intend to give any figures on the missing, in the hope that it could be a false alarm,” he said. Nello MusumeciMinister of Civil Protection and Sea Policies.
Among the dead is a man who lived on the ground floor of a house in Cesena invaded by water from the nearby Montone river and in Ronta di Cesena a 70-year-old man was also found dead in his home, while today the body of a man appeared on the beach of Cesenatico.
Musumeci explained that for the moment they have had to evacuate about 5,000 people and that there could be more during the day since the rains do not cease.
For the evacuees, prepared several sports centers and today the evacuations of people who had to take refuge on the upper floors or on the roofs of the buildings will continue.
The organization of the formula 1 race scheduled for this weekend at the circuit of Imola He advised journalists and team personnel not to go near the racetrack, which is flooded. It is estimated that they will await weather reports to decide if the Grand Prix will take place or not.
Schools and other activities remain closedas well as regional rail traffic in the area is disrupted, Italian media reported.
Total 14 rivers have overflowed in the region and there are widespread flooding in 23 municipalities and the attention on the hydrogeological side of the Forlì-Cesena, Bolognese and Ravenna Apennines remains very high and there are reports of more than 250 ongoing instabilities, according to Civil Protection.
This is a new misfortune for an area hit by heavy rains just a fortnight ago, which caused flooding that left two dead.
In some areas it rained almost 300 millimeters in a few hoursaccording to the newspaper Republic.
“Is it the end of the world”
“The city is on its knees, devastated and in pain. Is it the end of the world”, the mayor of ForliGian Luca Zattini.
In this city, media images showed people in shock, fleeing barefoot through the water in the dark. The pictures showed streets turned into rivers and firefighters moving people to safety in inflatable boats.
“We passed a night we will never forget. A flood that the history of our city had never known. something unimaginable”, said the mayor of faenzaMassimo Isola.
The mayor of CesenaEnzo Lattuca, reported on his social networks that river overflows are still taking place and reminded his citizens “of the recommendation to keepe away from waterways and leave the basements and ground floors” and that “in the next 6 hours the rainfall will be constant.”
In this city, several people were seen climbing to the roofs of their buildings, where the firefighters rescued them with helicopters or inflatable boats.
was also launched alarm on bologna where the city council warned of the possibility of flooding during today in the streets adjacent to the Ravone creek.
In Imolawhere on Sunday the Formula One Grand Prix from Emilia Romagna, the Santerno river, which borders the track, overflowed.
Race organizers asked journalists and team staff not to come to the circuit on Wednesday. According to reports in the media, the Minister of Infrastructure, Matteo Salviniconsiders it appropriate to postpone the Big prize.
The president of the Emilia Romagna region, Stefano Bonacciniin a video posted on social media, stated that “the situation is truly dramatic in many areas. We had decreed a meteorological alert with the closure of schools and limited movement, but the amount of water that fell today 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.
“The road system is complex, with many flooded streets, it is difficult to travel without equipped vehicles, there are also problems in the national road system, the interruption of regional rail services and throughout the Adriatic stretch is also reported. The invitation is to adopt measures of maximum cautionthe emergency is not over, we must listen to the indications”, said the deputy director of the Italian Civil Protection Department, Titti Postiglione, to channel Rai News.
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 flooding.
(With information from EFE and Reuters)
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