May 29, 2024

Balkan Travellers

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Five dead as torrential rain washed down riverbanks in northern Italy, inundating towns

Five dead as torrential rain washed down riverbanks in northern Italy, inundating towns

ROME (AP) – Officials in northern Italy warned residents not to reach higher ground on Wednesday amid fears that rain-swollen rivers would again flood their banks, after floods killed at least five people, forced the evacuation of some 5,000 and stranded some. Train services.

Days of torrential rain stretched across a wide swath of northern Italy and the Balkans, with “horrific” floods, landslides and evacuations reported in Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia.

Italy’s Minister of Civil Protection, Nello Musimici, said five people had been confirmed dead due to the floods that hit Emilia-Romagna so badly that 24 towns had to be evacuated. Speaking at a news briefing, Musimesi said he hoped the people still missing turned out to be false alarms.

Cesena’s mayor, Enzo Latuca, posted a video early Wednesday morning on Facebook warning that as the rain continues in the Emilia-Romagna region, the Savio River and its smaller tributaries could flood for a second day. He urged residents to move to the upper floors of their homes and avoid low-lying areas and river banks. He announced that some bridges and streets were closed to traffic after rivers of mud gushed through town into basements and storefronts.

“The situation could become critical again,” he said. “In no way can we lower our guard.”

About 5,000 people have been evacuated, Musiamisi said, 50,000 without electricity, and more than 100,000 without mobile phones or a landline.

The deputy head of the Civil Protection Agency, Titi Postiglione, said rescue operations for those needing emergency evacuations were particularly difficult given many roads and roads were flooded and telephone service was disrupted. Speaking on Sky TG24, she noted that the flood-affected area covered a wide swath of four counties that, until heavy rains, had been in drought for a long time.

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Some regional train lines remained suspended on Wednesday around Bologna and Ravenna, Italy’s state railways said, with severe delays elsewhere.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who was on her way home from a meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized nations in Japan, said the government was monitoring the situation and was ready to agree emergency aid.

In the Balkans, the swollen Una River has flooded parts of northern Croatia and northwest Bosnia, as authorities have declared a state of emergency. The mayor of Bosanska Krupa, a town in Bosnia, said the floods had submerged hundreds of homes.

“We have the end of the world,” Emin Halitović told the N1 regional network. We can no longer count the flooded buildings. It wasn’t like this before.”

Dozens of landslides have been reported in eastern Slovenia, many of which endanger homes and infrastructure.

In Croatia, hundreds of soldiers and rescue teams have continued to bring food and other essentials to people in flood-affected areas who are isolated in their homes. There have been no reports of injuries so far.