Italy’s floods leave 13 dead and force 13,000 from their homes | Pro IQRA News

Italy’s floods leave 13 dead and force 13,000 from their homes

 | Pro IQRA News

Pro IQRA News Updates.

BOLOGNA-More than 20 rivers have burst their banks in Italy, leaving 13 people dead and forcing thousands from their homes after six months of rainfall in one and a half days.

More bodies were found on Thursday after almost every river between Bologna and the north-east coast 115km away was flooded. About 280 landslides have occurred.

“It was a very bad 48 hours. Water and mud took over our whole village,” said Roberta Lazzarini, 71.

Her home Botteghino di Zocca, south of Bologna, was hit by a current on Wednesday. Streets, houses and gardens were flooded and Roberta said she was still scared. “I’ve never seen anything like this here. We were stuck and didn’t know what to do. I just hope it doesn’t happen again.” Firefighters helped residents escape their homes, including a 97-year-old woman who had to leave her bedroom in an inflatable boat.

“Our society is broken,” says Roberta’s daughter, Ines, who runs the local cafe in the central square. “We felt completely cut off, isolated, some of us were really terrified.”

“We’ve had floods before, but it’s never been this bad as far as I can remember,” said Lamieri, 74, as he removed mud from his basement, where his son stores products to sell in the souvenir shop he runs. Central Bologna. “The street turned into a river. We lost all our stuff that was stored down here. We estimate thousands of euros in damages.”

This is one of many villages and towns that are flooded in the province of Emilia-Romagna, not only from rivers, but also overflowing canals.

More evacuations took place west of Ravenna on Thursday and more bodies were found, including a couple in an apartment in the village of Russi, which was flooded hours before.

Many warn that Italy needs a national plan to respond to the effects of climate change. Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci said tropical conditions had already reached Italy, with 20cm of rain in 36 hours and in some areas up to 50cm. “Soils that remain dry for a long time end up becoming cemented, which drastically limits their ability to absorb water,” he said.

No regional dams had been built in 40 years, he said, and a new approach to water engineering was needed. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government has called a crisis meeting next Tuesday.

Many factors contribute to flooding, but a warming atmosphere caused by climate change makes extreme rainfall more likely. Already, the world has warmed by about 1.1 C since the industrial era began, and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments around the world make drastic cuts in emissions. Antonio Francesco Rizzuto, a 55-year-old lawyer who lives by the river with his wife, was forced to leave on Tuesday night and is now staying with his daughter in a nearby village.

“It was something nobody expected in these proportions,” he said. “Before we left our house the water level was rising every minute. When we came back yesterday… our living room was completely under water. We will have to throw away most of our furniture.”

Stefano Bonaccini, regional president of the Emilia-Romagna region, said the damage costs amounted to billions of euros. Overnight evacuations were ordered in towns west of Ravenna. Residents of Villanova were ordered to seek shelter on upper floors, a day after floodwaters rushed through Lugo’s historic center.

Lugo was flooded again on Thursday, as was Cervi, on the coast.