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Friday, February 3, 2023

Torrential Flash Floods Kill around 10 in Central Italy

The sudden storms emerged after a prolonged dry spell across Italy, afflicting the entirety of Europe in general

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ITALY. Milan: At least ten people have perished due to the torrential overnight rains and floods that struck the central Italian region of Marche, authorities reported on Friday, as rescuers continued the search for four missing people.

One of the four people reported missing was a child travelling in the car. While the mother was rescued, the child was washed away by the floodwaters, a local news agency said.

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Local meteorological data recorded around 400 millimetres of rain in two to three hours, inundating the streets of several towns around the region’s capital Ancona on the Adriatic coast.

The mayor of Serra Sant’Abbondio that the severe intensity of the flash floods felt similar to the rumblings of a full-blown earthquake.

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Footage released by fire brigades showed rescuers on rafts trying to evacuate people in the seaside town of Senigallia while others attempted to clear an underpass of debris.

The fire brigade said it had successfully rescued dozens of affected residents overnight “who took refuge on roofs and in trees” during the floods.

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Another tweet from the fire brigade read, “the search for missing persons continues among the mud and felled trees.”

Photo Credit: Twitter

Stefano Aguzzi, head of civil protection at Marche’s regional government, said the downpour was far stronger than had been forecast, “We were given a normal alert for rain, but nobody had expected anything like this,” he told reporters.

The storms also lashed the neighbouring region of Umbria. The head of the national civil protection agency Fabrizio Curcio was on his way to Ancona to assess the damage suffered by residents in the area, while party chiefs campaigning rigorously for Italy’s Sept. 25 election expressed their solidarity.

Enrico Letta, leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, said it would temporarily suspend all campaigning activities in Marche “in a sign of mourning” and to allow its local activists to participate in efforts to assist the flood-hit communities fully.

Mr Letta expressed his grief in a tweet on Thursday morning: “Stunned and speechless in the face of the tragedy that struck Marche.”

Thinking (of) and crying for the victims.”

He hoped rescue workers would be “successful in their relentless work.”

The sudden storms emerged after a prolonged dry spell across Italy, afflicting the entirety of Europe in general, and many have drawn a link with climate change. This subject has not been much deliberated upon in the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, Francesco Rocca, the president of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said its teams were heading to help.

Very concerned by the growth of extreme weather events,” he said on Twitter.

Also Read: Pakistan: One Million Affected by Worst Floods in History

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