Italy – Floods and Landslides in Liguria Region After 181mm of Rain in 1 Hour

Staggering amounts of rain fell in northern Italy on 04 October 2021, causing floods and landslides in Liguria and Piedmont Regions. Liguria’s environment agency reported a record 181 mm of rainfall in just 1 hour and over 900 mm in 24 hours.

Floods in Liguria Region, Italy, 04 October 2021. Photo via President of Liguria Giovanni Toti / Facebook

Severe weather was reported across northern and central areas of Italy on 04 October. Red Alerts (highest level) were issued for the regions of Liguria, Piedmont and Lombardy.

The worst of the flooding struck in Liguria Region and in particular the province and city of Savona. In a statement during the evening of 04 October, President of Liguria Giovanni Toti, said “At the moment almost all emergency situations are concentrated in the Savona area, in the Bormida valley and in the hinterland of Genoa in the Stura valley.”

The president said the situation was critical and could worsen, especially given the extreme levels of rainfall. As much as 604 mm of rain fell in 12 hours in Rossiglione and 540 mm in 12 hours in Savona, Toti said.

The region’s environment agency, Agenzia Regionale Protezione Ambiente Ligure (ARPAL) reported 1 hour rainfall totals of 145.2 mm in Cairo Montenotte, 178.2 mm in Urbe and 181 mm in Vicomorasso, which is a new national record. Furthermore figures from ARPAL show the station at Rossiglione recorded more than 900 mm of rain in 24 hours.

Several rivers broke their banks in the region. The Erro flooded areas of Pontinvrea; the Bormida river overflowed in Cairo Montenotte; and the Letimbro caused flooding in the city of Savona.

The Bormida river broke its banks in near Cairo Montenotte. Image: ARPAL
The Letimbro river broke its banks in Savona. Image: ARPAL
Over 900 mm of rain fell in Rossiglione, Liguria, Italy in 24 hours. Image: ARPAL

Rescues and Damage

Videos shared on Social Media showed areas inundated by raging flash floods. Several roads including motorways were temporarily closed and some rail services suspended. A bridge was wiped out in Quiliano. Remarkably no injuries or fatalities were reported, as of early 05 October.

Italy’s Fire Department carried out 30 interventions in the city of Savona, mostly due to the flooding of the Letimbro river. Teams also rescued 13 trapped motorists in Rossiglione and evacuated 5 families trapped in a building in Ponteinvrea.

Flooding also affected areas of Camporosso and other parts of the Province of Imperia. Schools and public places were closed in the city of Genoa.

In the Piedmont Region, firefighters rescued 29 people from flooding caused by the overflowing Orba river in Ovada, Alessandria Province, late on 04 October 2021.

Social Media