Italy – Floods Prompt Evacuations in Veneto and Emilia-Romagna Regions

Wide areas of Italy have seen severe weather including strong winds, heavy snow and rain since 04 December. Evacuations have been carried out after flooding in Emilia-Romagna and Veneto Regions. Media report at least 2 weather-related fatalities.

Severe weather including heavy rainfall and flooding affected parts of Italy from 04 December. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

As of 06 December, Italy’s Ministry of the Interior reported that the regions of Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia-Romagna, Piemonte, Lombardy and Tuscany were all severely affected.

Italy’s fire service, Vigili del Fuoco, said it had carried out 2,500 interventions between 05 and 07 December, including 1,000 in Veneto, 300 in Emilia-Romagna, 150 in Friuli Venezia Giulia. As many as 245 people were rescued either by boat or helicopter on 06 December. Fatalities have been reported as a result of severe weather in Lombardy and the southern region of Basilicata.

As of 07 December, the worst of the flooding was along the Panaro river in Modena Province in Emilia-Romagna region. Residents in Nonantola are particularly badly affected. Vigili del Fuoco rescued 175 people from flooding in the affected areas on 06 December. Civil Protection in Emilia-Romagna said a total of 364 people evacuated their homes. Rescue operations were continuing in Nonantola as of early 07 December.

Regional authorities said the the Panaro river at nearby measuring station Navicello reached the danger mark of 11.5 metres on 06 December, while the Secchia river at Ponte Bacchello in Modena Province reached 11.72 metres on 06 December, well above the danger mark of 11.5 metres.

Levels of the Panaro river at Navicello in Modena, Italy 05 to 07 December 2020. Image: Region of Emilia-Romagna
Levels of the Secchia river at Ponte Bacchello in Modena, Italy 05 to 07 December 2020. Image: Region of Emilia-Romagna

In Veneto Region, around 20 people were rescued from floods in Settecà, Vicenza Province, on 06 December, while several landslides and flooding were reported in Belluno Province, closing roads and damaging a bridge. Around 76 people were evacuated from a retirement home in the province.

Italy’s news service ANSA, quoting civil protection in Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, said the town of Barcis in the Province of Pordenone had recorded over 770 mm of rain – the heaviest for 30 years – since the start of the severe weather.

Areas further south have also been affected, with thunderstorms and strong wind reported in Calabria and Sicily on 07 December. Both regions were affected by severe floods in November.

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