Further alerts for Italian region after '7-metre high wave of mud'

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Further alerts for Italian region after '7-metre high wave of mud'
A police helicopter patrolling. (Photo by Gianluca CHININEA / AFP)

Italian emergency services have found the five missing people after flooding in Piedmont, but the region was braced for more storms on Monday.


The Italian town of Bardonecchia is preparing for further severe weather after flooding caused serious damage on Sunday night.

Emergency services have now found the five missing people, according to Italian media reports, although the north-western region remains vigilant.

The Regional Agency for Environmental Protection (ARPA) has on Monday placed most of Piedmont under a yellow alert for storms and flooding.


That means "the possibility of thunderstorms, even strong ones, developing near the mountains or arriving from France with subsequent transit over the plains," the agency stated.

There is also further "instability" forecast in the evening and overnight.

The governor for Piedmont, Alberto Cirio, told reporters, "I am in direct contact with the mayor (of Bardonecchia) Chiara Rossetti, who has confirmed to me that there are no victims and even the five people initially considered missing have been found.

"This is certainly good news. However, the damage is very significant and I have already heard from Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani, who has already given the government's willingness to do its part to help us deal with this situation."

While thanking the Civil Protection Department and the fire brigade for the rescue operations, Tajani said, "The government will support every effort against the damage caused by mud and debris".

The clean-up operation resumed at 7am Monday in Bardonecchia, in the Val di Susa region, a few kilometres from the French border.

Around 50 of the fire brigade, including divers, were deployed and they continue to carry out air reconnaissance, the Vigili del Fuoco confirmed on Monday afternoon.

On Monday morning, rescue teams said they had already saved six people dragged downstream by water, mud, and rubbish, who were found stuck in a camper van.

After a landslide at altitude, the Rio Merdovine broke its banks Sunday evening, completely covering cars and flooding streets.

Onlookers reported, "We heard a loud roar, then we saw a 7-metre high wave of mud. The house was shaking."




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