Catastrophic flooding in southern Italy: 13 people killed, thousands left homeless
The Italian province of Emilia-Romagna, located in the south of the country, is seriously affected by a terrible flood. The devastation of Emilia-Romagna was caused by 300 millimetres of rainfall in just over 24 hours, resulting in a loss of life.
The areas hardest hit by the weather wave in recent days have experienced intense rainfall, causing the biggest emergency since the 2012 earthquake, Corriere della Sera reports.
It is noted that watercourses have overflowed in about fifty locations, and more than a hundred landslides have occurred with catastrophic consequences: 13 people have been killed, tens of thousands of displaced people and people without electricity, hundreds of blocked roads, and billions of euros in damage.
At the same time, local infrastructure is being damaged, as houses and roads are being destroyed by the floods, and bridges are being demolished by the water.
On the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, the Motta Bridge, which connects Motta Budrio with San Martino in Argine in the Bologna region, collapsed after heavy rains. Firefighters advised the public not to go "for any reason near the affected area, as it seems that a gas pipeline is also involved". The situation in the area, also due to bank erosion, is particularly critical.
Horrific stories of the victims of the massive floods
According to eyewitnesses, Mr Gianni Pavani died while on the phone, pleading for help on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. He had been on the phone for forty-seven minutes, talking about the disaster at his home.
The last moments of the phone conversation with his neighbour were terrifying: "I'm cold, very cold," Gianni repeated. - "The water has come in and is rising, I can see the furniture moving around the house". The next morning, the body of Mr Pavani, a pensioner who had worked all his life for an office furniture company in Imola, was found under two metres of water.
People also died from electrocution in the water that flooded their homes. In the prefecture of Ravenna, a couple of farmers went down into the already flooded basement of their home to get some meat from the fridge, possibly thinking they would have a supply of food while waiting for the forced isolation. Yesterday, investigators found electrocution marks on their bodies, apparently due to water coming into contact with the freezer's socket.
Mr Giovanni Sella, aged 89, died in a horrific flood in the Ravenna area. He was suffering from an illness and was lying in bed unable to move, so his wife, also elderly, desperately tried to get him up to take him away. So she called the rescuers, went up to the first floor and, when the fire department helicopter arrived, waved her arms to attract attention. In a perfect manoeuvre, they let her out the window, and she immediately told the firefighters that her husband was also on the first floor, but that the water from the river had already flooded everything. The body was found the next day.