Disasters & Accidents

Rescue efforts continue in northern Italy as death toll from heavy floods climbs to 14

Rome, 19 May (EFE).- Rescue efforts continued on Friday in northern Italy where heavy flooding has killed at least 14 people and forced the evacuation of over 20,000.

An 84-year-old man was found dead in his home in Faenza, the president of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, told local news outlets on Friday.

Rescue operations in the region have been hampered due to the numerous malfunctions reported on the electrical and telephone networks leaving many people unable to communicate and isolated.

Dozens of regional roads have also been affected by landslides caused by heavy rains and swelling rivers.

Flooding continued overnight on Thursday in parts of Ravenna, where the town hall ordered the evacuation of homes on several streets where water was rising at a dangerous rate.

Several towns have no access to electricity or drinking water, while in the Apennines, particularly in the Forlì area, some areas have been cut off by landslides.

“The overall situation is a unique emergency of its kind that has not occurred in over a hundred years,” Ravenna mayor Castrese De Rosa, said.

Five bodies were retrieved on Thursday afternoon, farmers Delio and Dorotea Foschini, aged 73 and 71, who died in their home in the province of Ravenna. Another two male victims and a 95-year-old woman were also found dead in their homes.

Schools in Bolonia and Casalecchio have reopened although the state of emergency continues throughout the region.

The regional environmental agency of Emilia-Romagna confirmed that a red weather alert was still active despite weather forecasts improving in recent hours.

Rains are expected to return over the weekend with rivers still in a state of alert due to the risk of banks bursting causing more flooding. EFE


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