Monday, May 29, 2023

Flood-hit villages evacuated in northern Italy

Volunteer firefighters ride their boat through a flooded Savio river in the Ponte Vecchio district of Cesena, central-eastern Italy, May 17, 2023.

Italian authorities on Thursday evacuated flood-hit towns in Emilia-Romagna in the country’s northeast, where nine people have already died.

Torrential rains in the region in recent days caused several rivers to overflow in southeastern Emilia-Romagna, causing landslides, according to regional authorities.

More than 10,000 people had to leave their homes. The rain stopped by mid-afternoon on Wednesday and forecasters are not expecting significant rainfall on Thursday.

However, buses were hired to evacuate residents of the municipalities of Vilanova di Ravenna, Filetto and Boncalsi, threatened by the flooding of the Lamon River.

With “six months of rain in 36 hours” and “record rainfall” for two weeks, “no region can resist”, said Stefano Bonacini, president of the Emilia-Romagna region. “The soil doesn’t absorb anything,” he said.

The Italian Armed Forces and Coast Guard joined the emergency effort with helicopters and boats to reach homes surrounded by water.

In places where water was receding, residents cleaned houses and roads that were covered with mud and debris.

“I’ve lived here since 1979, I’ve seen floods, but never like this,” Edoardo Amadori, a resident of the town of Cesena, told AFP.

Thousands of farms have been affected in this fertile agricultural region. Sunday’s Formula 1 Grand Prix in Emilia-Romagna was canceled due to flooding.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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