Red alert: warnings issued as violent storms sweep across Italy

Several areas on high alert as severe weather continues, after a weekend of heavy rain and high winds in many regions.

Red alert: warnings issued as violent storms sweep across Italy
Storm damage: a road blocked by a fallen gazebo this morning in Badia Prataglia, near Arezzo, Tuscany. Photo: Arezzo Fire Brigade

The Civil Protection Department issued a red alert – the maximum level – this morning for the regions of Abruzzo, Liguria, Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia and Trentino Alto Adige.

Strong winds, hail and thunderstorms are expected today and tomorrow in these regions, with particularly heavy rain and a risk of landslides in Alpine areas.

The highest level of severe weather warning means residents of the areas affected should be prepared for disruption to travel and energy supplies, and that weather may cause damage to property and infrastructure. People are advised to avoid travelling in these regions where possible.

Numerous roads and motorways in these regions are closed, or experiencing delays and heavy traffic, mainly due to localised flooding or fallen trees.

Italian firefighters reported a busy night with 180 weather-related incidents recorded in Tuscany alone between midnight and 7am.

Authorities have also warned that heavy rainfall and high winds are expected in many other parts of the country, and have issued an orange alert for Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Lazio, Calabria, Sicily, and parts of Molise, Campania, and Puglia.

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The only area with no weather warnings in place today is eastern Sardinia.

Coastal areas are at the highest risk of violent storms, the department said, particularly along the exposed coasts of Lazio, Tuscany, Liguria, and along the Adriatic coast.

A man was found dead yesterday by firefighters near the port of Catanzaro on Calabria’s southern coast after a boat was dragged ashore by strong currents.