Italy – Severe Floods in Palermo, Sicily, After Torrential Rain

Severe flash flooding swept through the city of Palermo, capital of Sicily in southern Italy, after torrential rain on 15 July.

Floods in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, 15 to 16 July 2020. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

The flooding caused damage and disruption across the city. Several buildings were evacuated. Firefighters were called to around 300 interventions, including removing dozens of submerged vehicles from flooded roads. A search is continuing for two people thought to be trapped in a vehicle in a flooded underpass.

Some local reports said that 115.8mm of rain fell in around 2 hours in the city. July is normally the city’s driest month, when the monthly average rainfall is just 6.7 mm, according to WMO. In a statement of 15 July, the Mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando, claimed the rainfall totals were much higher and the equivalent of a year’s worth of rain fell during the storm.

Twelve people died in flooding in Sicily, including in Palermo, in November 2018. Italy’s Civil Protection authorities reported 10 fatalities occurred in Palermo Province and 2 in the Agrigento Province.

Social Media