At least six people were killed as flash floods tore through the Italian city of Genoa. Water cascaded through the centre of the city, a week after torrential rain battered nearby coastal areas.
Children are among the dead and several more people are missing. Most of those killed were reportedly seeking shelter on the ground floor of an apartment block when it flooded.
“I met so many people I knew and they had tears in their eyes,” said resident Luigia Cimmino. “A woman disappeared in the muddy water. As I walked, I heard the sirens alerting people to avoid crossing the river because another flood might be coming.”
The authorities in northwestern Italy’s largest city have advised people not to use their cars, not to leave their homes, and to move to higher floors.
“Get out of there, it’s dangerous,” cried a woman from an upper floor to a man waist-deep in a muddy torrent in the street below.
Last week the government declared a state of emergency in the surrounding Liguria region and Tuscany after storms lashed coastal areas.
As two rivers in Genoa burst their banks and people were tossed around in the water, one woman was reportedly killed after being crushed by cars being swept away.
The alert is at its maximum level; the ominous news for the region is that more heavy rain is forecast over the weekend.