Science

Deadly flooding in Italy and France

Deadly flooding in Italy and France”

A firefighter by a partially submerged vehicle after heavy rains caused flooding in the town of Limone Piemonte, Italy [Vigili del Fuoco/Handout/Reuters] Unrelenting rainfall overnight hit levels not seen since 1958 in northern Italy's Piedmont region, where 630mm (24.8 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours, according to the Italian civil protection agency.

The head of Italy's Piedmont region said the storm was the most serious in those parts since a flood killed 70 people in 1994.

Gonzalez said four bodies found on a beach in Liguria, Italy, on Sunday most likely came from cemeteries swept away when rivers overran their banks.

Storm Alex, which brought fierce winds and torrential rain, then moved into northern Italy where record rainfall has also been seen.

In addition, French rescuers are seeking to locate 12 other people whose families have not heard of them since the storm, which blocked roads and cut off communications.

In Italy, at least one person died and up to 11 people were missing, local authorities said. Dozens more, As reported Euronewsare listed as missing.

"The priority is to evacuate those who want to leave this war zone they've been living in for the past two days", the government's top regional official, Bernard Gonzalez, told AFP, saying some areas looked as if they had been "bombarded".

Several villages around the city of Nice on the French Riviera have been ravaged by the rains.

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French prime minister Jean Castex, who flew over the area in a helicopter, expressed "grave concern" over the floods that left 10,500 homes without electricity yesterday.

"I can not hide our grave concern on the definitive toll", Castex said.

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that mid-week he will travel to the department of Alpes-Maritimes, the region of Nice, that was devastated by bad weather. On Friday, due to heavy rains and thunderstorms in the Veneto region, the highest - red - level of danger was declared, with an orange warning in place in Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna.

A fireman was killed by a falling tree in the Valle d'Aosta region, while three people travelling in a van were swept away by flood waters in Val Roya on the border with France. "All I have left is a tiny piece of wall and a door".

"Together we will get through this", he said.

Rescue efforts included 871 personnel working on the ground, as well as military helicopters and troops helping with emergency assistance, Mr Castex said. Because of the pandemic the region will this year receive 200 million euros less in tax receipts.

"We are thunderstruck", said Serge Franco, a resident of Roquebilliere, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Nice, as rescue helicopters hovered overhead.



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