At least eight dead and thousands rescued as deluge causes devastation

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Devastating floods have caused untold misery for thousands of people as emergency services are stretched to the limit.

Torrential floods and mudslides have caused chaos in northern Italy, with over 5,000 residents evacuated to safety and at least eight people have lost their lives so far with many more reported missing, according to CNN.

There have been reports of floods across Italy, but the worst affected area is the Emilia Romagna region, where despite the rainfall easing, the rivers have continued to swell.

Until recently, the region has been subjected to a lengthy period of drought but is now on red alert, the highest level of emergency for life-threatening weather events.

Authorities have cancelled the weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and evacuated the area in the interests of public safety.

The region has seen 21 rivers burst their banks, with residents having to escape to their roofs to await rescue by helicopters or rubber dinghies.

Reports say that 600 firefighters have been drafted in from across Italy to help people to safety, after the Po, Italy’s longest river, burst its banks.

The flood-affected areas are huge with the population of Bologna being advised to stay indoors.

The Mayor of Ravenna, Michele de Pascale said: ‘It’s probably been the worst night in the history of Romagna. Ravenna is unrecognizable for the damage it has suffered.’ It is understood that around 5,000 people had been evacuated from that one city overnight.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni posted a message online yesterday and tried to reassure people adding that the government is ‘ready to intervene with the necessary aid.’

Today, Italy’s civil protection agency said: ‘The rainfall is not over, it will continue for several hours. We are facing a very, very complicated situation.’

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.