First funerals in Sardinia as island mourns flood victims

First funerals in Sardinia as island mourns flood victims
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The first funerals are taking place on Wednesday of those killed by a cyclone and severe flooding on Sardinia.

The holiday island, usually known for its white sand beaches, has been turned into a mud-bath after as much rain fell in a day as normally falls in several months.

The storm has killed at least 16 people. One person was reported missing, and by Tuesday night 1,700 were in alternative shelters after being forced to leave their homes.

A police officer was killed and three others injured when their jeep fell beneath a bridge partially washed away by the floods. A supporting structure collapsed when the police officers were accompanying an ambulance in Dorgali on Monday evening, Italy’s State Police reported.
Aerial footage provided here shows the bridge and damage caused by floods.

One missing person, a rancher who had been warned to evacuate his home but refused, was rescued on Tuesday.

Hospitals have been treating the dozens who were injured, of whom three were said to be in a serious condition.

Among the worst-hit towns was Olbia in the Mediterranean island’s north-east, where officials declared a day of mourning and prayer as it prepared for the funerals of six victims.

It is feared the death toll may rise as emergency crews reach remote parts of the countryside.

The authorities said all roads should be open and communication systems working during the day on Wednesday.

Rain continued to fall overnight but without causing new damage.

Sardinia’s civil protection agency has defended itself over what it calls unfounded criticism, saying the storm was forecast in time and evacuation procedures were followed correctly.

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