Italy – Storms and Flooding Cause 11 Deaths

At least 11 people have died in Italy after storms and severe weather swept across parts of southern Europe, bringing strong winds, rough seas and heavy rain. Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, France and Switzerland have all been badly affected.


Six regions of Italy – Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Trentino-Alto Adige and Abruzzo – were put on red alert due to storms, torrential rain and strong winds from 29 October. Heavy rain has increased river levels and risk of landslides since then, with further severe weather expected. On 30 October Civil Protection issue red alerts for hydrogeological risk in Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige regions, and an orange alert for Liguria.

Many of the deaths in Italy were caused by wind damage, with gusts reaching 180 km/h (112 mph) recorded in some areas. Fallen trees have cause major travel disruption and schools in many cities have been closed.

The strong winds and high tide combined to cause major flooding in Venice, with over three quarters of the historic centre inundated on 29 October, 2018. Local authorities said the high tide hit a maximum of 156 cm in the early afternoon – the fourth highest level ever recorded and the highest seen since 2008.

Heavy rain also triggered some flash flooding, causing at least 2 deaths. According to ANSA news agency, a woman was killed by flood waters at Dimaro in Trentino Province, Trentino-Alto Adige Region, and a man was found dead in a river near Belluno in the Veneto region.

People were forced to evacuate their homes after flooding in the town of Levanto, La Spezia province, in the Liguria region. Flooding was also reported in Ovaro, Udine Province in Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, where a road collapsed and a factory was evacuated.

The Piave river has broken its banks in parts of Veneto region in northern Italy. Evacuations were carried out in the town of San Donà di Piave as a result.

Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia

The severe weather caused major wind damage in Croatia, where high waves and strong winds also combined to cause some coastal flooding. One person has been reported missing in the rough seas.

Heavy rain in river catchments caused levels of the Drava and Mura rivers to increase. State Administration for Protection and Rescue (DUZS) said around 20 people were evacuated from their homes due to flooding of the Drava in Dubrava Križovljanska, a village near the border with Slovenia.

Authorities in Slovenia say that levels of the Drava, Ljubljanica and Rakitnica rivers are high. Heavy rain was also reported in parts of Bosnia from 29 October. Mostar, recorded 81.8mm of rain in 24 hours to 30 October, according to WMO figures.

France and Switzerland

In France, the severe weather has left 45,000 households without power and caused several road accidents, leaving at least 1 person dead in Aveyron Department and 49 injured in Loire Department.

Heavy rain and snowfall from 30 October has interrupted rail and road transport in the cantons of Ticino, Valais and Grisons in southern Switzerland.