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Evacuations and school closures as storms continue to lash Italy

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Evacuations and school closures as storms continue to lash Italy
An aerial view of flood damage to Livorno. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco
10:39 CEST+02:00
After a weekend of torrential rain and flooding across large parts of Italy, search efforts for two missing people were taking place on Monday amidst continued bad weather.

Summary:

  • At least six people reported dead in Livorno
  • Two people still missing in Livorno on Monday
  • Public transport was disrupted and the start of school term postponed in several areas
  • 16 families evacuated in Salerno

READ MORE: Family killed in Livorno as storms cause flood chaos across Italy

16:22 - Images of flood rescues

Italy's firefighting service shared on their social media pages images of people being carried to safety by firefighters. Children were carried through flooded streets on firefighters' shoulders, while some families were evacuated from their homes by boat.

The fire service said it carried out dozens of rescues in Livorno on Sunday.

16:14 - Environment minister calls for national weather centre

Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti was in Livorno this afternoon, and has said the country needs a centralized weather centre in order to better warn and prepare for extreme events.

Earlier, Livorno's mayor had criticized the government and Civil Protection Agency for issuing only an 'moderate' orange alert ahead of the flooding, however under current Italian law, regions are responsible for weather guidance.

In Livorno, investigators have opened a probe into 'culpable disaster' after six people were confirmed dead in the floods. Two other people, a man and a woman, were still missing.

14:33 - Large parts of Rome still without electricity

The Italian capital has also been badly hit by heavy rainfall, which follows months of severe drought.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi has said the weather is "a sign of climate change in action" after 100 milimetres of rain fell in a three-hour period. The public transport system experienced severe disruptions and several roads remained closed on Monday.

According to Repubblica, many families and businesses were still without light and/or electricity on Monday. The below video, shared by firefighters, shows the extent on flooding in one cellar in the capital.

12:59 - 'Cooperate without controversy'

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has called on institutions to "cooperate without controversy" in the recovery efforts in flood-affected regions.

This comes after some regional politicians criticized the Civil Protection Agency for issuing an 'orange' alert rather than the more serious 'red'. "We didn't expect this because the alert was orange," said Livorno mayor Filippo Nogarin, who said the city was "on its knees".

12:55 - Video of damage to Livorno

The aerial video below, shared by Italy's firefighting service, shows the full extent of flood damage to Livorno, where search efforts for two missing people were continuing on Monday.

11:55 - Continued disruption across the south

The regions of Campania, Calabria, and Sicily were the worst hit by the weather on Monday with reports of flooded streets, fallen trees, and damge to homes and other buildings.

Near Scafati in the Salerno province, firefighters intervened to rescue motorists trapped in their cars.

Palermo and the east coast of Sicily was badly affected, with two RyanAir flights (Palermo-Rome and Palermo-Verona) cancelled due to the weather. No other disruptions to air traffic have yet been announced.

10:56 - School term starts postponed

The majority of Italy's schools were due to reopen for the autumn term on Monday, however in several places the start date has now been pushed back due to the extreme weather.

The mayor of Salerno, where a 24-hour orange alert is in place, ordered schools to remain closed, according to news agency Ansa. A total of 16 families in the province have also been evacuated.

Some schools in the central Abruzzo region were also closed as a precautionary measure following a 3.9 magnitude earthquake the previous evening.

10:52 - Search efforts in Livorno

Search efforts for two missing people, a woman and a man, were taking place in Livorno on Monday.

Continued rainfall made the search tough, with many streets closed or flooded and a weather warning still in place for rain, though this had been downgraded from orange (moderate) to yellow (ordinary criticality).

10:30 - On Monday it was the south of the country set to bear the brunt of the bad weather, with thunderstorms and strong winds across the Calabrian region since the early hours of the morning.

The images below show the alerts put in place by Italy's Civil Protection Agency.

In the map on the left, dark blue shows very high levels of rainfall, while the turquoise shades show moderate and light levels. Red lightning bolts mark areas where storms are expected. And in the right-hand map, yellow and orange show ordinary to moderate levels of hydrogeological risk.

For detailed information, go to the Civil Protection Agency's website.


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