Thursday, May 18, 2023

'Critical situation': Eight dead after flooding in northern Italy


Warmer air can hold more moisture. As a result, we are having an increased number and intensity of extreme precipitation events such as this.


 AFP - • 17 May, 2023   Updated Wed 17 May 2023 14:34 CEST


Eight people died and thousands were evacuated after heavy rains caused devastation across Italy's northern Emilia Romagna region, while this weekend's Imola Grand Prix was cancelled, officials said on Wednesday. 


Emilia Romagna, one of Italy's richest regions, had already been hit by heavy rain just a fortnight ago, causing severe floods that left two dead.

This time, around 50 centimetres (20 inches) of rain fell within 36 hours in Forli, Cesena and Ravenna - around half the normal annual rainfall, a situation "with few precedents", Italy's Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci said.

 "It is still a very critical situation," he told reporters, adding that while the rain was still falling, it was expected to lighten during the day.


Rescue workers had worked through the night to save children, the elderly and the disabled from the rising waters.


"We have to get used to it for the future, because unfortunately in recent years it often happens that these extreme rainfalls arrive," Air Force meteorologist Paolo Capizzi told AFP.

He said it could not directly be blamed on global warming but the "ever-increasing frequency of these phenomenon can obviously be the consequence of ongoing climate change".


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