Italy | Floods force the displacement of 36,000 people

(Ghibullo) More than 36,000 people have been displaced following floods devastating northeastern Italy, the Emilia-Romagna region announced on Saturday, as floodwaters engulfed even more homes and that hamlets found themselves isolated by new landslides.

The violent bad weather ravaging Emilia-Romagna killed 14 people and turned city streets into rivers.

The showers not knowing any respite, the regional authorities have extended until Sunday the red weather alert.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced on Saturday that she would leave the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan prematurely to return to Italy and deal with the crisis.

“Frankly, I cannot stay so far from Italy at such a complicated time,” she told a press conference, thanking the 5,000 people – members of rescue teams and volunteers – who are helping the victims affected by the floods.

She also thanked her G7 counterparts for their offer of assistance.

Mme Meloni is expected to visit the areas most affected by the floods on Sunday.

The Ravenna authorities on Saturday ordered the immediate evacuation of particularly exposed hamlets.

A helicopter taking part in attempts to restore electricity crashed near Lugo on Saturday, injuring one of the four people on board, firefighters said.

The floods caused more than 305 landslides and damaged or cut more than 500 roads in the region.


The showers not knowing any respite, the regional authorities have extended until Sunday the red weather alert.

“The water started to rise at 2 p.m. [vendredi] crossing the fields”, after nearby canals overflowed, submerged by the waters of the flooding rivers, said Mauro Lodola, a 54-year-old electrician.

” It’s difficult. I would like this to be over soon, so I can move on… pull myself together,” he says, standing in thigh-deep muddy water near his house.

Shaken, Mr. Lodola shows his devastated house, the water lapping around the refrigerator in the kitchen and the mattress of his bed, where furniture saved in disaster has been piled up.

Outside, a white door floats near a barn, where panicked hens have taken refuge.

Bologna Mayor Matteo Lepore said on Saturday it would take “months, and in some places maybe years” to repair roads and infrastructure.

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