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Four die as storms, high winds batter Italy

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Four die as storms, high winds batter Italy

Four die as storms, high winds batter Italy
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MANUEL SILVESTRI(Reuters)
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ROME (Reuters) - Four people died in three separate accidents in central and southern Italy on Monday as gale-force winds brought trees crashing down onto roads, rescue services said.

The national Civil Protection Agency issued weather warnings in many regions as storms swept much of the country, bringing torrential rains and high winds.

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Two young people died south of Rome when a tree hit the car they were travelling in, while another person was killed in the nearby town of Terracina in a similar accident. A 21-year-old man was killed by a falling tree as he was walking in Naples.

Dozens of trees were reported uprooted across Rome and many parks were closed. Local authorities urged residents to put off non-essential travel.

Schools were closed in the Italian capital, as well as in dozens of municipalities in the north of the country, which bore the brunt of the rainfall.

Authorities in the lagoon city of Venice barred access to the central St Mark's Square, which was heavily flooded.

Local authorities said the high tide hit a maximum of 156 centimetres (5.12 ft) in early afternoon - the fourth highest level ever recorded. City officials said that up to 75 percent of Venice was under water.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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