Italy – 7 Dead, 3 Missing After Severe Flooding in Marche Region

At least 7 people have lost their lives after torrential rain triggered catastrophic flooding in the Marche Region of Italy overnight, 15 to 16 September 2022.

Flood damage in Cantiano , Italy, September 2022. Photo: Mayor of Cantiano Alessandro Piccini

Areas of the Province of Ancona have been particularly badly affected. According to the provincial government, flash floods caused damage in the communes of Sassoferrato, Arcevia, Serra de’ Conti, Senigallia, Barbara and Pianello Vallesina. Other affected areas include Trecastelli and Ostra.

Communities in Pesaro-Urbino province were also affected, including Serra Sant’Abbondio, Cagli and Cantiano.

Many areas have been left without electricity and in some cases telecommunications and drinking water. Schools and some public services have been closed. Roads in the area have been cut leaving some communities isolated.

Italy’s fire service Vigili del Fuoco said teams involving 300 personnel rescued dozens of people in areas of Ancona and Pesaro-Urbino Provinces. Many had taken refuge on the roofs of houses and in trees to escape the flooding. More than 400 interventions have been carried out, including helicopter rescues. As of early 16 September, Vigili del Fuoco reported 7 people had died and 3 are missing. Some of those rescued have been taken to hospital with injuries or for treatment for hypothermia.

Officials from Italy’s Civil Protection Department said 420 mm of of rain fell in just a few hours. Several streams and rivers have broken their banks, including the Cesano river in Barbara and the Misa river in Senigallia as it did so dramatically in 2014.

Francesco Acquaroli, President of the Marche Region said, “The pain for what happened is deep, but the Marchega community is strong and will know how to react. My thoughts are with the missing people and their families, to whom I express my sympathy and closeness.”

Mayor of Cantiano, Alessandro Piccini, said via Social Media, “In a few minutes, the equivalent of half a year’s rain fell… it’s not bad weather but dramatic climate change. It makes us feel numb in the face of the power of nature that we are not respecting as we should and which is punishing us.”

The situation is evolving and authorities are yet to get a true picture of the full extent of the damage.

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