North Italy floods claim 9 lives, Formula 1 race called off

At least 9 people have died in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, where heavy rains on Wednesday caused flooding that flooded entire neighborhoods and farmland.

Torrential rains that hit the plains of the region for two days caused about twenty rivers to flood, which led to the flooding of huge areas of land with water and the evacuation of thousands of residents.

“We saw from the window of the house (second floor) how the water gradually rises,” David Maldola, a resident of the Cesena region, told AFP.

Helicopters flew all night looking for survivors to rescue.

The mayor of the neighboring city of Forlì, southeast of the region’s capital of Bologna, Gian Luca Zattini said his city was “kneeling, ruined and suffering,” adding: “It’s the end of the world.”

Regional authorities confirmed that 9 people were killed, mostly in the regions of Forlì and Cesena, and thousands of farms in the fertile agricultural region were also affected.

Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida said the water must recede before the government can determine the damage.

On Wednesday morning, divers found two bodies in Forlì as part of a massive rescue effort involving emergency services, the military and more than a thousand volunteers.

The flooding also led to Sunday’s Emilia-Romagna Formula 1 Grand Prix in Imola being canceled as organizers said they could not guarantee the safety of fans, teams and staff.

“We have to get used to it in the future because, unfortunately, these heavy rains have often fallen in recent years,” Paolo Capizzi, an Air Force meteorologist, told AFP, noting that global warming cannot be directly blamed. the ever-increasing frequency of this phenomenon could clearly be a consequence of ongoing climate change.”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni tweeted on her way to the G7 summit in Japan to reaffirm her support for those affected, noting that the government was “ready to provide the necessary assistance.”

Source: AFP

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