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Floods in northeast Italy

Rome (BLAZETRENDS).- At least 5 people have died and one is missing after the serious floods that have devastated entire towns in the Emilia Romagna region, in northeastern Italy, and where there are more than 5,000 evacuees and major problems in electrical service, telephone service and viability.

The Italian Civil Protection Minister, Nello Musumeci, gave a first assessment of the situation in the area at a press conference, which he defined as “critical”, but which could improve this afternoon with the cessation of the rains.

In total, 24 towns in the region have been flooded, especially in the provinces of Forli, Cesena and Ravenna, because “all the rivers of Emilia Romagna have overflowed.”

Musumeci pointed out that “the average rainwater that fell in the last 36 hours was 200 millimeters and in some areas it reached 500 millimeters, which gives an idea of ​​the amount of rain that has fallen since the average for the entire season is 1,000 millimeters”.

Floods in Cesena, in Italy. BLAZETRENDS/EPA/Max Cavallari

For the minister, both these floods and those that were experienced in the same region just a couple of weeks ago “is something that has few origins.”

The evacuees are close to 5,000 and could be more throughout the day, added the head of Civil Protection.

He announced that an inter-ministerial meeting will be held today to take some measures such as the state of emergency that involves the suspension of tax payments or legal proceedings as is normal for areas that have suffered floods, as well as financial aid and that this morning there was a video call with the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni.

In the area, 700 units of the Fire Department, 300 police officers and a thousand carabineros are operating, as well as 220 volunteers from the Red Cross, 100 from Socorro Alpino and some 340 from Civil Protection.

Floods in Cesena (Italy). BLAZETRENDS/EPA/Max Cavallari

Viability on provincial roads is critical, with many areas cut while sections of the A14 motorway, which runs along the Adriatic coast, have also had to be cut, as well as regional rail traffic “completely blocked”, while it runs smoothly national rail traffic and high-speed lines.

The floods have left nearly 50,000 users without electricity, while another 100,000 have problems with their mobile phones and another 10,000 with fixed lines.

The Italian Government wants to postpone the Emilia Romagna GP due to flooding

The Vice President of the Italian Government and Minister of Infrastructure, Matteo Salvini, considered this Wednesday that, given the climate emergency that the Emilia Romagna region is experiencing, it is “opportune to postpone the Grand Prix” of Formula One scheduled at the Imola circuit next weekend to focus attention on rescue efforts.

Salvini’s statement comes after this Tuesday, the torrential rains that hit a large part of Italy forced the evacuation of the Enzo e Dino Ferrari Autodrome, also known as the Imola circuit, days before it hosts the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix of Formula One, this weekend.

The overflow of the Santerno River surrounded the sports facilities with water, flooding several sections of roads near the track, as well as the parking lot and some grassy hills on which the stands for the public are installed.

The water, on the other hand, did not reach the circuit although the personnel who were working finalizing the preparations before the big sporting event were evacuated. The boxes, commercial premises and the press room were also evicted.

Given what happened, Salvini “considers it appropriate to postpone the Imola Grand Prix, scheduled for the weekend, given the meteorological emergency that is plaguing Emilia-Romagna.”

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