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Another heatwave to follow after storms hit Italy and Switzerland

Floods hit northern Italy and Switzerland after heavy rain.
Floods hit northern Italy and Switzerland after heavy rain. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with EBU
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High temperatures are forecast to start returning to Italy on Thursday after heavy rain whipped the north and centre of the country this week.

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After heavy rainfall earlier this week caused severe flooding in Italy, the southern European country is now bracing for the return of high temperatures in what has been an extreme weather rollercoaster.

The regions worst affected were Emilia Romagna, Liguria, southern Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria and Marche.

On Tuesday, streets and underpasses were flooded in Pistoia, northern Tuscany, while fire teams went out in dinghies around Parma to rescue stranded motorists.

River levels around Modena and Piacenza were on red alert, and heavy snow cut off mountain refuges in Piedmont.

The weather is improving in Emilia Romagna, which suffered from flooding and minor landslides on Tuesday.

Local firefighters said they carried out hundreds of rescues, including providing emergency assistance to people stuck in isolated villages due to flooded roads.

In the village of Campogalliano in Modena, a family had to be evacuated.

Dozens of small roads were blocked, and several small bridges collapsed, especially in the central part of the region.

An 85-year-old man in Traversetelo in the Parma area was caught in the rising waters of the Termina River and did not manage to escape, local authorities said, adding he was the sole victim.

In the meantime, temperatures across Italy went down, struggling to get above 20°C, 6-7 degrees below seasonal norms, the National Meteorological Agency said.

However, national weather services have issued an extreme heat warning, with temperatures in some parts of Italy expected to reach nearly 40C by Saturday.

Storms lash southwestern Switzerland

Clean-up crews and business owners were inspecting the damage after sudden storms lashed southwestern Switzerland, sending torrents of water through roads and temporarily halting air traffic at Geneva's airport.

In the lakeside town of Morges, a creek overflowed, inundating streets with tan-coloured floodwater.

Local authorities said no one was injured, but water flows hit 43 cubic metres per second, well above the 100-year record of 34 cubic metres per second.

Ignace Jeannerat, a spokesperson for Geneva's airport, said strong and violent storms, including lightning strikes, pounded an area near the airport late Tuesday. More than 50 inbound and outbound flights were cancelled, and a dozen flights were diverted to other airports.

Air navigation service provider SkyGuide said the basement of its Geneva offices was flooded, causing a cooling system failure that forced a temporary shutdown of its operations shortly after 10 pm.

Olivier Duding of Swiss weather forecaster Meteo Suisse said the French border town of Auberson received nearly 113 millimetres of rain in two hours, the third-most precipitation over such a period in Switzerland since detailed record-keeping began in 1981.

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