Rome is breathing a sigh of relief as it appears to have been spared potentially devastating flooding. The River Tiber remains at a dangerously high level, but the heavy rains of recent days have eased. The city’s mayor declared a state of emergency on Thursday after storms flooded parts of the city, leaving one woman dead. He had warned of the risk of power cuts and sewers overflowing.
Boats were ripped from their moorings by the high water level, blocking bridges further downstream and heightening the flood risk. Emergency services worked around the clock to increase the city’s flood defences. Plans had been put in place to evacuate large areas if their efforts failed. But the respite may be temporary. Although the downpours have ended there are warnings of possible new storms after Sunday.