After floods: still no all-clear for Italy

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Status: 21.05.2023 21:02

Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region maintains the highest alert level after severe flooding. Geologists warn of landslides. The EU promised support.

In the course of the severe flooding after heavy rains, the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna is still not giving the all-clear. The highest red alert will also apply on Monday in parts of this area on the Adriatic coast, according to civil defense. The rain had weakened and clean-up work was underway. But geologists are now warning in particular of the danger of landslides. Many roads have completely disappeared and would have to be completely rebuilt, the Italian news agency Ansa quoted the geologist Paride Antolini as saying.

EU supplies pump technology

The EU wants to supply pumping equipment to deal with the floods. Various EU countries have pledged their help, as the European Commission announced. Germany, Austria, France, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria are providing the affected Mediterranean country with technology. Italy had previously activated the EU civil protection procedure and thus officially asked for help.

The EU coordination center for civil protection is also in constant contact with the Italian authorities, it said. The EU is ready to provide further assistance if needed. “The EU is in full solidarity with Italy after the recent deadly floods,” said Janez Lenarcic, EU Commissioner for Crisis Protection, according to a statement.

Meloni visits affected areas

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited the affected areas. So she left G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan prematurely. In Emilia-Romagna she met, among others, the President of the region, Stefano Bonaccini.

As seen in a video circulating on social media, she came to Forli and towns in the province of Ravenna with a small delegation and spoke to citizens. The government is now called upon to act immediately to support the region. Meloni was moved: “It’s a tragedy.”

This photo released by her press office shows Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni speaking to a volunteer in Faenza, in the province of Ravenna.

After Sunday’s midday prayer Regina Coeli in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Pope Francis also reminded the population of the areas affected by the dramatic floods of the past few days. He renewed his “connection from the heart”.

After the floods in Italy, the death toll has risen to 14. The clean-up work is underway.
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Knapp 4000 firefighting operations

Cleanup efforts are underway in the affected areas. There, the helpers reveal serious damage. These amounted to a few billion euros, said the Vice President of Emilia-Romagna, Irene Priolo, on Saturday. In some places you have to “completely rebuild the road network”. Entire fields are also flooded or are now blocked by huge masses of mud.

Because of the landslides, many houses and farms are also isolated. Since the beginning of the storm, the Italian fire brigade has deployed almost 4,000 times. Most of the missions were therefore in the areas around Bologna, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena and Rimini.

At least 14 people died as a result of the floods and landslides. Thousands had to be evacuated.



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