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WEATHER

One dead, two missing in Italy flooding

UPDATED: One man has died and two are missing in the Emilia-Romagna province of Piacenza after heavy rain swept across many parts of northern Italy overnight, causing flooding and landslides.

One dead, two missing in Italy flooding
Storms have hit parts of northern Italy. Photo: Giorgio Galleoti

The body of 56-year-old security guard Luigi Albertelli was found near his car in the Ponte dell'Olio area, Ansa reported on Monday.

Two brothers, who may have been travelling on a motorway that was hit by flooding, are still missing.

Flooding also hit nearby towns as well as several cities in the Veneto region, while a motorway near Cortina was blocked due to a 30-metre landslide.

Torrential rain also caused flooding in the Ligurian port city of Genoa, many parts of which were wrecked by flooding less than a year ago after the Bisagno River broke its banks.

In mid-August, two people were killed when storms swept through Italy.

Earlier in the month, three people in the Veneto region died in landslides. A week later, the government pledged to spent €1.3 billion on flood prevention and safety measures.

Environment Minister Luca Galletti said at the time that €654 million had already been made available to the cities worst-hit by flooding, while adding that an agreement would be made with unions to allow around-the-clock work on the most critical projects.

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

The floods in Genoa last October were the worst to strike the 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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WEATHER

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

Temperatures are set to rise dramatically across Italy this weekend as the country prepares for its first real heatwave of the year, meteorologists said on Friday.

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

People across Italy are preparing to head to the beach this weekend with unseasonably hot weather predicted to last for several days.

The heatwave is caused by an anticyclone named  ‘Hannibal’ sweeping in from Tunisia and Algeria, bringing hot air currents across the Mediterranean and as far north as Denmark and Poland, reports news agency Ansa.

Temperatures are forecast to rise above 32-33°C in parts of the Italian north including Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, and Emilia Romagna, before the heatwave expands towards the centre and south of the country over the course of the weekend.

The weather is already 8°C above the seasonal average for this time of year, according to Antonio Sanò, founder of the Italian weather site IlMeteo.it, and temperatures could rise by as much as 10°C.

READ ALSO: From Venice to Mont Blanc, how is the climate crisis affecting Italy?

In a typical year these kinds of highs wouldn’t be seen until July, Sanò said.

The incoming heatwave will be particularly humid as the anticyclone is carrying moisture from the Mediterranean sea, according to IlMeteo.

However, the relative cool of the Mediterranean basin at this time of year will contain the heat and keep the temperatures from rising into the high 30s, as would happen if the same type of weather event occurred in August.

READ ALSO: Nine in 10 Italians ‘want more action on climate crisis’, new study finds

The heatwave will stretch over the weekend and continue into next week, peaking on Tuesday, according to weather reports.

Patchy thunderstorms typical of midsummer weather are anticipated in the Alps and the Po Valley, while the centre-south is set to experience hot and sunny conditions bar some isolated storms in the mountains of Abruzzo on Sunday.

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