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Schools closed and trains cancelled as storms batter northern Italy

The Local Italy
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Schools closed and trains cancelled as storms batter northern Italy
Heavy rains have caused significant disruption in northern and central Italy. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP.

Italy's Veneto region was on red alert and 15 other Italian regions issued with weather warnings on Wednesday as heavy rains struck the north and centre of the country.


Train services between Milan and Venice remained suspended as of Wednesday morning, having been closed since Tuesday afternoon due a risk of flooding on the line between Vicenza and Padua.

"Traffic remains suspended between Vicenza and Padua due to critical weather conditions which are causing the risk of flooding of some rivers," national rail operator Trenitalia wrote in an update on its website.

Vicenza's Mayor Giacomo Possamai described the city's situation in a video message as "critical" and "very concerning", adding that the River Retrone's level was continuing to rise after the river had already overflowed in several places.

"There are various reports of flooding in the city, especially of cellars, there are many roads closed," he said.

"I ask everyone to limit their movements to those that are absolutely necessary, to stay in their homes, and to avoid going into basements especially in areas close to the river."

The city's schools were closed throughout the day, following numerous closures in Tuscany on Tuesday.

Italy's fire service wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that its workers had carried out more than 60 interventions in Veneto as of early Wednesday morning.

Multiple landslides have been reported in the Liguria region, including a mudslide in Pieve Ligure that narrowly grazed a school bus and temporarily cut off 1,000 of the town's residents and displaced others.

In Tuscany, 18 families were evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure in the town of Montemurlo following a landslide, and a series of landslides in the province of Lucca caused buses to be diverted.

As well as the red alert for Veneto, Italy's Civil Protection Department placed parts of Emilia-Romagna under an 'orange' weather warning on Wednesday.

Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino Alto Adige, Lombardy, Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Umbria, Lazio, Campania, Molise, Calabria, Basilicata, Sicily and Sardinia were issued with lower-risk 'yellow' warnings.


In the government's colour-coded tiered warning system, a red alert is the most severe weather warning, indicating a severe threat to public safety and human life.

An orange alert represents a moderate threat to public safety alongside a risk of landslides, flooding, and sinkholes, while the yellow alert indicates an occasional threat to public safety and a lower risk of flooding around waterways.



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