Words like ‘apocalypse’ and ‘tsunami’ have been used to describe flash flooding that has claimed at least six lives in northern and central Italy.
Rescue work has been difficult amid a search for up to 10 people still missing after torrential rain lashed parts of Liguria and Tuscany. The province of La Spezia and its UNESCO-protected tourist site of Monterosso have been hit especially hard.
As well as the cost in human lives, homes, vehicles, roads and bridges were wrecked by the floods and mudslides and power supplies cut.
A naval ship, helicopters and more than 200 soldiers were deployed in a massive rescue and salvage operation. The cost of the damage could run into several million euros.