Italy to spend €1.3 billion on flood defences

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Flooding in Genoa in October 2014. Photo: IlSecoloXIX
14:59 CEST+02:00
The Italian government has pledged to spend €1.3 billion on implementing flood prevention and safety measures after three people were killed in a landslide in the Veneto region this week.

Environment Minister Luca Galletti said €654 million has already been made available to the cities worst-hit by flooding, Ansa reported.

Three people, including a Polish tourist and a 14-year-old girl, died after an intense period of rainfall triggered a landslide on Tuesday afternoon in San Vito di Cadore, a town in the northern Veneto region.

The landslide was the second recent case of extreme weather to affect the region after a tornado swept through the outskirts of Venice in early July, killing one and destroying dozens of homes.

The Tuscan city of Florence was also battered by a storm on Saturday.

The storms came amid the most intense period of heat to engulf the country since 2003.

A series of floods and landslides across northern and central Italian regions between October and December last year also claimed thirteen lives.

Floods in Genoa last October were the worst to strike the Ligurian port city since 2011, when seven people, including two children, lost their lives. But money allocated to build flood safety measures at the time was never spent due to legal wrangling.

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Galletti said that an agreement would be made with unions to allow around-the-clock work on the most critical projects, Ansa reported.

He added that too much time had been squandered by governments that for years failed to tackle Italy's flooding and hydrogeological problems.

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