Floods and mudslides in north-east Italy amid heavy rain

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Floods and mudslides in north-east Italy amid heavy rain
The view from a helicopter over Italy's flooded River Savio. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco/Twitter

Parts of Italy's Emilia-Romagna region were on high alert on Monday as heavy rains left rivers dangerously swollen.


The River Savio burst its banks in the province of Forlì-Cesena on Monday morning, according to the Italian Fire Service, which said it had rescued two people – a person with disabilities and their carer – who had found themselves trapped in their home.

Firefighters were also evacuating homes in Modena province as they warned that the Secchia and Panaro rivers could be next.

Roads and bridges were closed in some areas amid mud- and landslides, while trains between Rimini and Bologna were interrupted as the waters threatened to cover part of the tracks.

A bridge collapsed on Monday in Verucchio, near Rimini. Photo: Comune di Verucchio/Facebook

The whole of Emilia-Romagna, as well as Le Marche to the south, were on orange alert for rainstorms on Monday, one below the highest warning level.

Nine other regions were on lower yellow alert, most of them on Italy's Adriatic coast, though gale warnings were also in place in Liguria and Tuscany.

Storms battered the south and centre of Italy on Sunday, with strong wind, rain and even hail reported in several regions.

In Puglia, farmers' associations estimate that the unseasonal storms have done hundreds of thousands euros' worth of damage to the agricultural region's crops.

Italy is in the middle of the coldest May in years, with temperatures plummeting below zero and snow returning to the Alps. As much as 1.45 metres of snowfall were measured in parts of the Dolomites on Monday morning.

The change is even more dramatic as it comes after an exceptionally mild winter that saw temperatures climb over 21 degrees C in February.



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