Italy: two people died due to floods in Emilia-Romagna

ROME (Reuters) – Flooding in Emilia-Romagna in north-central Italy has killed two people and forced the evacuation of thousands, Italian officials said on Wednesday, warning the worst was yet to come. Maybe still to come.

“The rain is not over, it will continue to fall for several hours,” Titti Postiglione, deputy head of the civil protection agency, told SkyTG24 television channel. “We are facing a very complex situation.”

He reported several missing persons without specifying the number. According to RAI and other media, at least four people are missing, one in Cesena and three in the neighboring city of Forli.

Several rivers broke in Romagna, the eastern part of the region on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, forcing many residents to take shelter on their home or building roofs, who were rescued by firefighters by helicopter or inflatable boat.

“It is probably the worst night in Romagna’s history,” Ravenna’s mayor Michele De Pascale told RAI.

“Due to the damage done to the Ravenna, she cannot be identified,” he said.

The council’s president, Giorgia Meloni, expressed “total closeness with the affected population” on Twitter, adding that her government stood ready to provide necessary assistance.

Heavy rain is falling on Emilia-Romagna after weeks of drought that has changed the soil’s ability to absorb water.

(Written by Elvis Armellini, French edition edited by Bertrand Boucy, Blandine Heinault)

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