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Violent floods hit central Italy after 6 months’ worth of rain within 3 hours- authorities describe the situation as apocalyptic and compare it to a tsunami

flood marche september 16 2022 italy

Violent storms hit central Italy’s Marche region late September 15, 2022, causing major floods in which at least 9 people lost their lives and 4, including two minors, went missing. Around 50 people were being treated for hypothermia and other injuries.

The Ancona prefect’s department revised the death toll after previously putting it at 10, ANSA reports. However, two of the deceased are in the process of being identified and it is possible that these victims are among the people who are currently considered missing.1

The mayor of Castellone di Suasa described the situation as ‘apocalyptic’ while other local authorities compared it to a tsunami, sweeping through villages.

A large-scale rescue operation was launched, with more than 300 firefighters, to bring people to safety.

Dozens of people managed to save themselves from the flood waters by climbing onto roofs and trees, from where firefighters were able to rescue them.

The region received around 400 mm (15.7 inches) of rain within just 2 to 3 hours – the equivalent of six months’ worth of normal rainfall.

“It is the legacy of the hot summer of 2022 which, due to the hot sea, means there is a possibility of intense rainfall for at least another month,” Il Meteo.it meteorologists said.

Head of civil protection at Marche’s regional government, Stefano Aguzzi, said the rain was far stronger than forecast. “We were given a normal alert for rain, but nobody had expected anything like this,” he told reporters.2

References:

1 Storms, floods claim at least nine lives in Marche – ANSA – September 16, 2022

2 At least 10 dead after ‘water bomb’ flash floods likened to ‘earthquake’ hit Italy – Sky News – September 16, 2022

Featured image credit: Vigili del Fuoco

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