Sardinia Floods and Storm

The island of Sardinia, Italy, lies in the Mediterranean and is a hugely popular tourist destination during the summer months. The storm was described by the Mayor of Olbia as “apocalyptic” and struck late in the evening, yesterday, 18 November 2013 and early in the morning Tuesday 19 November.

Flooded streets of Olbia in Sardinia. Photo:
Flooded streets of Olbia in Sardinia. Photo:

Cars and bridges were swept away on raging flood water from nearby rivers which had overflowed. Roads were blocked and became impassable. Houses and buildings were damaged, and hundreds had to leave their homes for safer areas. Many of the island’s farm inland from the coast have been badly hit. Many flights to and from the island were also disrupted. Rescue services worked through the night. Schools will be closed on the island today.

Officials pointed out that the whole of the island had suffered damage and destruction from the storm, probably the worst in decades. The worst hit area is the city of Olbia, with a population of around 55,000. The city lies in the north eastern part of the Italian island, in the wider region of Gallùra, which has also suffered. Much of Olbia is said to be currently under water.

Floods in Olbia, Sardinia - Photo:
Floods in Olbia, Sardinia – Photo:

According to local newspaper L’Unione Sarda, at least 9 people are thought to have been killed in the floods, including one police officer. Das Bild, the German newspaper reports that the figure now stands at 12. Three people died when a bridge collapsed onto their car in the Olbia area. Other victims drowned when their car was tipped over by the flood water.

There has been heavy rainfall across many parts of Italy over the last 24 hours. November is often a bad month for floods. Just a few days ago 2 people died in floods in the Marche region. See our list of all of the November floods that have struck Italy since 2000 here.

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