Death toll in flooding in northern Italy rises to 13

Family being evacuated in Italy following flooding
Family being evacuated in Italy following flooding Copyright Luca Bruno/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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The death toll following flooding in northern Italy has risen to 13 with officials saying it has caused billions of euros' worth of damage.

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As evacuations continued following severe flooding in Italy’s northern Emilia-Romagna region, the death toll has risen to 13, with several people still reported missing.

Some 20,000 people have been left homeless in the area, with 41 towns and villages destroyed by water after six months’ of rainfall fell in less than 48 hours.

Torrential rains pushed rivers and tributaries to burst their banks and streets turned into rivers in a matter of minutes.

The region’s governor said damage to infrastructure, farmlands, and homes would amount to billions of euros, with farming areas particularly badly hit.

Residents of small towns and villages said they had never experienced anything like it before, in what is believed to be the worst flooding to hit Italy in 100 years.

Although the rains have stopped, the sewage systems are saturated and water continues to overflow into the cities.

The floods are the latest in a series of extreme weather events that have slammed Italy over the past year. The region had been suffering from a drought, cementing the dry soil which then cannot absorb the intense rainfall.

Officials said Italy needs a national plan to combat climate change-induced flooding, with the country’s Civil Protection Minister, Nello Musumeci, calling for a new nationwide hydraulic engineering plan to adapt to the impact of increasing incidents of floods and landslides.

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