More than 23,000 displaced after floods in Italy

More than 23,000 people were still displaced Monday in northeastern Italy, according to a report from the authorities almost a week after torrential rains caused major flooding and left 14 dead Most of the victims have been relocated with friends or members of their families, but around 2,600 are also housed in hotels, schools, gymnasiums and other centers set up by local authorities, the Emilia-Romagna region said in a press release.

Six months of rain fell in just 36 hours last week, bursting around 20 rivers, turning streets into rivers of mud and submerging large swaths of farmland.

Authorities are working to restore internet connectivity for hospitals, government, schools and people in isolated areas, and have started distributing 100 Starlink terminals from Elon Musk’s SpaceX around Ravenna , particularly affected. In addition to the loss of life, the region – one of the richest in Italy – has suffered economic damage that is impossible to quantify at this stage.

10 million fruit trees doomed

According to the farmers’ union Confagricoltura, at least 10 million fruit trees will have to be uprooted, a figure that could even reach 40 million. More than 600 roads were also still closed on Monday, the region having estimated this weekend that around 620 million euros were needed to restore the road network.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited some of the worst affected areas on Sunday, after her early return from the G7 summit in Japan, and met with rescuers and volunteers, residents and local officials.

A Council of Ministers is scheduled for Tuesday to release financial means for Emilia-Romagna, the first funds to be allocated to emergency intervention, then to compensation and reconstruction.

Stellantis and LVMH to the rescue

Several private groups have already pledged money to help this wealthy region get back on its feet, including Franco-Italian auto giant Stellantis, which pledged one million euros on Monday, adding to the pledged funds by Formula 1 and luxury car manufacturer Ferrari, based in Emilia-Romagna.

The French luxury groups LVMH, parent company of the Roman fashion house Fendi and the Italian jeweler Bulgari, and Kering, which controls the Florentine house Gucci, have also pledged donations of an unspecified amount.

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