Disasters & Accidents

Italy’s deadly floods kill 15, displace over 23,000

Rome, May 24 (EFE).- A missing person was found dead overnight in Italy, bringing the death of Italy’s devastating floods to 15, authorities reported on Wednesday.

Italy has experienced its worst floods in decades after six months worth of rain fell in just 36 hours leaving 15 people dead and 23,067 people homeless, according to the latest data.

The latest wave of floods started on May 16 and is ongoing after 23 rivers burst their banks flooding 37 towns and cities in the Emilia-Romagna region.

The region was flooded two weeks earlier on 2 and 3 May, killing two people.

In the worst affected region of Ravenna, 16,445 people were evacuated from their homes, followed by Forlì-Cesena province with 4,462 and the Bologna area with around 2,160.

Authorities have rehoused 2,694 people in hotels, schools and sports centers.

Some 603 roads remain closed due to thousands of active landslides in the region while 1,600 volunteers are taking part in a massive clean-up operation to clear towns of the mud after excess water has been drained, although many towns and villages remain flooded.

The town of Conselice, in the province of Ravenna, with a population of 10,000, has been submerged under water for a week and now faces health risks due to the presence of stagnant water.

Mayor Paola Puca has issued a warning to citizens of Conselice to stay away from stagnant water as it could become a source of contagious diseases.

The Italian government on Tuesday approved a 2 billion euro aid package to help businesses and families affected by the floods.

The president of Emilia Romagna, Stefano Bonnacini, welcomed the measures but said that the funds would only cover part of the region’s reconstruction.

“There are billions of euros of damage. There are 300 active landslides, entire forests have come down, there is the issue of rivers, and there is the issue of roads and infrastructure,” Bonnacini warned.

European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen is to visit the flood-ravaged area on Thursday. EFE


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