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Italy: bad weather causes flooding

DHeavy rains caused flooding in northern Italy on Sunday, triggering the red alert in parts of Veneto (northeast), Friuli (north) and the province of Bolzano (far north).

In the space of a few hours, firefighters in the Veneto region had to carry out more than 400 emergency interventions between Belluno, Vicenza, Treviso and Venice. “Due to the risk of mudslides and avalanches due to bad weather, I urge everyone to avoid going to the Belluno region,” the region’s president told Ansa news agency. Veneto Luca Zaia.

In Modena, in Emilia-Romagna (north), the Panaro River overflowed its course, causing the evacuation of inhabitants in certain areas where the water rose up to 1.5 meters. Residents of these areas have been called upon to take refuge in the higher floors of their homes. Reinforcement firefighters have arrived from Tuscany and Piedmont.

Rail traffic between Bolzano and the Brenner Pass at the Austrian border, where heavy snowfall was recorded, was interrupted for safety reasons against the risk of avalanches and falling rocks and trees, as well as the A22 motorway between Vitipeno and Brenner. The city of Bolzano can only be reached by motorway, the other access roads having to be closed.

The avalanche alert has been activated in the Dolomites and Alto Adige (far north), where firefighters have carried out 500 interventions in the last 24 hours.

Another consequence of the bad weather: the football match between Udinese and Atalante had to be postponed because the pitch was too flooded.

Flood

Over the past 24 hours, the Po, Italy’s main river, has risen 2.5 meters. “The situation of the largest Italian river is representative of the state of the rivers in the north of the peninsula, from the Panaro to the Cellina torrent which overflowed at Barcis in Friuli, while in Veneto a small bridge s’ collapsed in a torrent in Gosaldo ”, underlined Coldiretti, one of the main agricultural unions.

The south of the country, although less affected, was not totally spared: in Sicily, a violent thunderstorm hit Messina last night, flooding the streets and access roads. Maritime links with the Aeolian Islands (north of Sicily) have been suspended since Saturday due to strong winds.

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