More than 36,000 people have now been forced from their homes by deadly floods in the northeast Italyregional officials have said, as rising waters swallowed more houses and fresh landslides isolated villages.

Violent downpours earlier this week killed 14 people and turned streets in the cities of the Emilia Romagna region into rivers.

And as more rain fell, regional authorities extended the red weather warning until Sunday.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Saturday she is leaving the G7 summit in Japan early to deal with the crisis.

“Honestly, I cannot be so far from Italy at such a complex moment,” she told reporters, thanking the 5,000 people – from rescue workers to volunteers – who had mobilized to help those affected by the floods.

She also thanked her fellow G7 leaders for their offers of help.

Meloni was expected to visit some of the worst-hit areas on Sunday.

The authorities in Ravenna ordered the immediate evacuation of more vulnerable villages on Saturday.

A helicopter involved in efforts to restore electricity crashed on Saturday near Lugo, injuring one of the four people on board, emergency services said.

Six months of rain fell in 36 hours in the Emilia-Romagna region, with the floods described as the worst the country has seen in a century.

The floods have caused over 305 landslides and damaged or closed over 500 roads in the region.

“The water started rising at 2pm (on Friday), from across the fields,” after nearby canals swelled with flooded rivers, electrician Mauro Lodola told AFP.

“It’s hard. I want it to pass quickly, to be able to move forward … to pick ourselves up,” the 54-year-old said as he stood thigh-high in the dirty water surrounding his house.

Lodola choked as he showed his destroyed house, water lapping around the kitchen fridge and against the mattress on his bed, which was piled high with salvaged furniture.

Outside, a white door floated past a shed, where chickens that had been moved to safety clucked nervously.

Bologna Mayor Matteo Lepore said on Saturday that it would take “months, and in some places maybe years” for roads and infrastructure to be repaired.