Mon. May 29th, 2023

After six months' worth of rain fell in a day and a half, more than 20 rivers in Italy burst their banks, displacing thousands of people from their homes and resulting in the deaths of 13.

After nearly every river between Bologna and the north-east coast, about 115km (70 miles) distant, overflowed on Thursday, more bodies were discovered.

There have been 280 landslides.

"The past 48 hours were pretty horrible. Our entire community was submerged in dirt and water, according to Roberta Lazzarini, 71.

A torrent devastated her hometown of Botteghino di Zocca on Wednesday. It is located south of Bologna. Roberta reported that she was still terrified despite the flooded streets, homes, and gardens.

"That's something I've never seen around here. We were helpless because we were in a bind. I only hope that doesn't occur once more.

One homeowner, a 97-year-old woman who had to leave her bedroom in a rubber raft, was assisted by firefighters in leaving her home.

Ines, Roberta's daughter who manages the neighborhood cafe on the central plaza, declared that "our community is broken." "We felt totally alone and cut off, and some of us were genuinely terrified."

"We've had floods before, but it has never been this bad as far as I can remember," Lamieri, 74, said while clearing mud from his basement, where his son keeps goods for sale at the souvenir shop he owns in the heart of Bologna.

"The road became a river. We lost everything that was kept down here. The damage is estimated at thousands of euros.

This is only one of several towns and villages in the Emilia-Romagna area that have been inundated, not just by rivers but also by overflowing canals.

On Thursday, there were additional evacuations west of Ravenna, and additional bodies were discovered, including a couple in a flat in the hours earlier flooded village of Russi.

There is a growing consensus that Italy requires a national climate change response strategy.

Nello Musumeci, the minister of civil protection, claimed that tropical weather has already arrived in Italy, with 20 cm of rain dropping in just 36 hours and up to 50 cm in some places.

He explained that prolonged periods of drought lead to soils becoming cemented, which severely restricts their ability to absorb water.

He claimed that because there hadn't been any regional dam construction for 40 years, hydraulic engineering required a fresh strategy.

The administration of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has scheduled a crisis meeting for next Tuesday.

Flooding is caused by a variety of variables, but climate change's warming of the atmosphere increases the likelihood of extreme rainfall. Since the start of the industrial age, the world has already warmed by around 1.1C, and temperatures will continue to climb unless governments drastically reduce emissions.

Lawyer Antonio Francesco Rizzuto, 55, and his wife were evicted from their riverside home on Tuesday night. They are currently staying with his daughter in a neighbouring village.

No one had anticipated it to be of this magnitude, he said. "The water level was rising by the minute before we left our residence. Yesterday when we returned, our living room was entirely underwater. We'll have to discard the majority of our furniture.

The Emilia-Romagna region's regional president, Stefano Bonaccini, estimated that the damage expenses were in the billions of euros.

Towns west of Ravenna received orders to evacuate over the course of the night. A day after floodwater poured over Lugo's historic center, residents of Villanova were told to take refuge on higher floors.

On Thursday, Cervi on the coast and Lugo were both inundated once more.

The possibility of the neighboring Santerno river flooding led to the cancellation of this weekend's Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola. On Tuesday, there was a lot of flooding in the sections near the track where people park and watch the race.

A Bruce Springsteen rock performance was scheduled for Thursday in Ferrara, further north, despite the local catastrophe. The sold-out show had almost 50,000 fans who had purchased tickets.

The decision to move forward was criticized, with one local councillor Anna Ferraresi charging local officials with moving on despite the misery of thousands of residents in the area.

In addition to the 23 rivers that overflowed their banks, the Zena stream in Botteghino di Zocca became a furious torrent.

80-year-old Lino Lenzi was standing amid his grandchildren's toys that had been immersed in the mud that had once been his daughter's garden.

He declared, "The water is everywhere. I've lived here for 70 years, and I've never seen anything like this."

His daughter had just finished restoring the house, which had been in the family for many years.

The water level in his kitchen is up to our ankles. It was taller than 2m (6.5 feet) the day before.

The water had to be removed using everything we had, including buckets, pots, and pans.

Lino grumbled that the nearby rivers hadn't been dredged in a long time.

"Nobody has come to offer assistance. We haven't gotten any assistance from the government or local authorities,"

Due to the numerous flooded roadways and power outages in many communities, rescue operations have proven challenging.

The only assistance Lino received was from a young man who lives nearby. He noticed that we needed assistance as he passed by. He assisted us with moving our furniture.

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