One dead after severe storm and flooding hits southern Italy

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One dead after severe storm and flooding hits southern Italy
Storms caused further localised flooding in Italy on Thursday after floods caused by torrential rain devastated the Emilia Romagna region last week. (File photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

A man was killed after torrential rain caused flash flooding in the southern Italian province of Avellino on Thursday, local media reported.


The 45-year-old man was reportedly hit and killed by his own car, which was parked on a slope, as he tried to salvage it from flood waters in a rural area in the municipality of Contrada.

The man was thought to have been working in a chestnut orchard when flash floods hit, causing major damage to homes and farmland in the area, reported news agency Ansa.

"It is a tragedy in an area that is not new to these phenomena and which is characterised by its vulnerability," the mayor of Contrada, Pasquale De Santis, told Ansa.

"There was only twenty minutes of rain preceded by a hailstorm, but of exceptional strength," he said.

The area has been repeatedly hit by severe flooding during storms and families in the nearby village of Celzi had to be rescued using rubber dinghies in the last major floods in November 2023.

Flooding hit the southern province at the same time as European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen was visiting Emilia Romagna in the north-east of Italy on Thursday after last week's severe flooding killed 14 people there.


Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said at a press conference on Thursday that Italy would apply for financial support from an EU fund following the disaster in Emilia Romagna once the damage to the area has been fully assessed.
Scientists say extreme weather events like the heatwaves, severe storms, flooding and droughts which now regularly ravage Italy are becoming more frequent and more intense due to human-caused climate change.


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