Italy: thousands evacuated due to floods
At least nine people died and thousands were evacuated from their homes as torrential rains in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy caused floods and landslides..
The Italian Minister of Civil Protection said that some areas were exposed in just 36 hours to the equivalent of half the annual average of rain, which resulted in rivers overflowing their banks, water flowing through cities, and thousands of acres of agricultural land drowning..
The Formula 1 Grand Prix Emilia-Romagna, which was scheduled for Sunday, was canceled in Imola, close to many of the worst-hit areas, in an effort to reduce pressure on emergency services and prevent motor racing fans from arriving in the flooded area..
And “Reuters” reported that the region is facing catastrophic events that it has almost never witnessed before, as unusually large amounts of heavy rain fell on land that could no longer absorb it.
The coastal city of Ravenna on the Adriatic Sea, famous for its Christian archaeological sites, was badly affected.
An official from the local interior ministry said 14,000 people would have to be evacuated from the area as soon as possible.
According to the authorities, the flood swept through 37 towns and communities, and about 120 landslides were recorded. At least one bridge has collapsed near the city of Bologna, some roads have cracked and many railway services have been suspended.
This is the second time that the Emilia-Romagna region has been hit by bad weather this month, with at least two people killed during storms at the beginning of May..
Meteorologists said that heavy rains fell in areas that had been drought for months, reducing the ability of the soil to absorb water and exacerbating the impact of floods..