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Anger in Italy after floods claim 16 lives

Anger in Italy after floods claim 16 lives
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A huge clean-up operation is underway in the Italian port city of Genoa after the worst floods in 40 years left six people dead, including two schoolgirls.

Over a third of the average annual rainfall fell in just six hours on Friday.

Angry residents are criticising the authorities for keeping schools open and not banning traffic, arguing that lives could have been saved if that had happened.

Some are blaming the city’s mayor.

Resign, resign they chanted as Marta Vicenzi toured some of the worst affected areas on Saturday.

Five of the victims died when the lobby of an apartment block in which they were sheltering was inundated with the flood waters.

Prime Minister Berlusconi blamed lax construction laws and some experts said slacker regulation meant that buildings could now be erected within three metres of a river instead of ten.

16 people have died in floods in Italy in the past week, including 10 in the Tuscan area of Lunigiana.

The rains have now drifted north toward the Piedmont region where authorties are warning that floods can be expected on Sunday night.