Floods kill at least five as storms thrash Italy

Floods kill at least five as storms thrash Italy”

Torrential rain in Italy triggered flooding that killed at least five people Sunday in the Tuscan port town of Leghorn, including four family members trapped by rising water in their basement. The grandfather, who lived on an upper floor, managed to bring the little girl to safety, returned to try to save the rest of the family, and perished, local media reported.

Lucchi said two persons were missing.

"The situation is very hard, it's critical. We fear a disaster", said the mayor of Livorno, Filippo Nogarin. An orange alert means "intense weather that is risky to people and things". "Then we woke up to this", he said adding that the death toll "may still rise" and could have been avoided entirely if they had known what was coming.

Italy's civil protection service issued a code orange alert for Florence as the storms, which began in northern Italy overnight, swept down the country towards the south.

In Rome, which until recently had suffered through 3½ months of drought, the downpour quickly made streets resemble fast-moving streams and several subway stations were closed.

"What's happening in Rome right now is unheard of. with a storm unleashing chaos". "The city is devastated", Nogarin said. But the Tuscany Region civil protection chief, Cristiano Lucchi, said the sixth death was caused by a auto accident unrelated to the flooding.

"The tropicalisation of the climate leads to an increase in extreme weather events, with waves of heat, the formation of large clouds, of violent hailstorms that ravaged national agricultural production", said Coldiretti.

It put the cost of the damage at over 14 billion euros (USD 16.8 billion) in the last 10 years.

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