At least 2 fatalities have been reported as a result of severe flooding and landslides in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Stefano Bonaccini, described the situation as unprecedented. Levels of the Lamone River jumped by over 10 metres in less than 24 hours. Areas of Bologna Province recorded more than 190 mm of rain in 24 hours.
The worst affected areas are in the provinces of Bologna, Ravenna and Forlì-Cesena. Teams from Vigil del Fuoco, Italy’s fire and rescue service, are continuing to carry out rescues by boat and helicopter, most recently in Sant’Agata Sul Santerno in the Province of Ravenna. Three hundred firefighters have carried out over 500 interventions since the start of the severe weather. Around 500 people have evacuated their homes. Schools have been closed and rail transport disrupted.
Vigil del Fuoco confirmed one person died after a landslide buried a house in Fontanelice in Bologna Province. There were unconfirmed reports of another person missing under the rubble. Another person died after being swept away by floodwaters of the overflowing Senio River in Castel Bolognese, Province of Ravenna.
President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Stefano Bonaccini, said in a statement that never had so much water fallen in such a short time in the region, and the situation “has no historical precedent.” He confirmed that the region has requested a national state of emergency from the Italian government.
Incessant rain for more than 48 hours caused rivers to break their banks. Botteghino di Zocca in the Metropolitan City of Bologna area recorded 198.2 mm of rain in 24 hours on 02 May. The town of Ponticelli recorded 163.8 mm during the same period.
Emilia-Romagna Civil Protection said that at one point on 03 May, as many as 13 rivers were at the highest alert (red) stage. Until this point, levels of many of the region’s watercourses had been low after a long-term dry period.
Authorities said flooding along the Lamone River in areas near Bagnacavallo was of particular concern. An embankment along the Lamone River failed in Faenza in the province of Ravenna.
Levels of the Lamone River near Pieve Cesato, Province of Ravenna jumped from around 1 metre early on 02 May to over 11 metres by early 03 May, according to data from Arpae Emilia-Romagna.