Fourteen people have died so far and around 36,000 people have been evacuated due to flooding in the north Italy which has left streets under water.
Authorities said Friday that 43 cities were affected flood and landslides and more than 500 roads are closed or destroyed, cutting off access to some villages and leaving thousands without electricity.
The damage is mostly located in the Emilia-Romagna region, which has been identified as the highest risk of flooding in the country. It experienced intense rain in the past week and two weeks earlier following a prolonged drought that hampered soil absorption and caused rivers to overflow.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Saturday she will leave Japan’s G7 summit a day early to face the growing emergency in the country. A national state of emergency is expected to be declared next week when Italy’s government meets on Tuesday.
Deaths include a couple in their 70s whose bodies were found in their flooded apartment by their son after he lost contact with them.
Some survivors have experienced dramatic rescues from their homes either by helicopter or dinghy. Many of those displaced by the floods have taken shelter in gymnasiums where cots have been set up.
“At some point they told us all to leave the area, and about an hour later we heard a loud beep,” 29-year-old Faenza resident Claudia said Thursday, describing the banks of the nearby Lamone River bursting.
“The water just overflowed.”
Cars can be found submerged in the city streets. Several billion euros in losses are estimated in the region, including from destroyed farmland and infrastructure.
— with files from The Associated Press and Reuters.
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