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Calabria flooding claims mother and son

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Calabria flooding claims mother and son
Photo: Vigili del Fuoco
13:00 CEST+02:00
A mother and her seven year old son have drowned in floods in the town of Lamezia Terme in the Italian southern region of Calabria.

The woman's two year old son, who was travelling with them, is missing.

The husband of the woman, who has been identified as 30-year-old Stefania Signore, raised the alarm yesterday evening when his family did not return home, and their bodies were found in floodwaters this morning, according to La Repubblica.

The family had been driving home when their car was overwhelmed by the water.

Rescuers found the car empty with its emergency indicators still on.

The search for the missing child is ongoing. 

The entire south of Italy is currently experiencing severe bad weather, with flights cancelled across much of the territory.

But the southwestern region of Calabria, which forms the "toe" of Italy's boot, and in particular the Calabrian city of Lamezia Terme in the province of Catanzaro, has been the hardest hit.

Calabria governor Mario Oliverio has said he will announce a State of Emergency for the region "within the next few hours".

Italy's fire service has reportedly deployed helicopters from Salerno and Catania to conduct an aerial search of the area and to rescue flood victims.

On Thursday night the Italian fire service carried out 80 rescue missions in the Calabrian province of Catanzaro, 70 in the commune Crotone, and 68 in the commune of Vibo Valentia, using a helicopter to transport an injured woman to hospital.

The fire service's twitter account released a video of the helicopter rescue.

Firefighters also arrived in rubber dinghies to rescue 16 people from floodwaters in the Lamezia Terme neighbourhood of Lamentino, including residents stranded on the roofs of their homes and two workers stuck in a warehouse, reports Ansa.

They additionally rescued several motorists trapped in their cars on the flooded Oppido-Ferrandino provincial road near Reggio Calabria, including several children and a pregnant woman.

On Thursday Italy's Civil Protection Agency issued an orange alert for the regions of Sardinia, Basilicata Apulia, and Calabria.

On Friday morning the agency put out a message saying its crisis unit has been meeting with the fire service and the local Calabrian Civil Protection Department to discuss the next steps to take.

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