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Widespread floods hit Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Widespread floods hit Emilia-Romagna, Italy may 2023

Heavy rainfall affecting parts of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region on May 2 and 3, 2023, caused rivers to rapidly rise and overflow, resulting in severe floods that claimed at least two lives. Emilia-Romagna Governor Stefano Bonaccini said they are in the process of declaring a state of emergency.

The rains intensified significantly on May 3, prompting authorities to declare a Red alert for the region.

The country’s civil and rescue department reported more than 400 interventions due to flooding and landslides while ANSA reported over 250 people in Ravenna Province evacuated their homes overnight on May 3.

Around 100 people were evacuated in the Faenza area, another 100 around Biancanigo di Castel Bolognese, and some 60 people in Conselice.

meteosat-9 satellite image of europe at 1030 utc on may 3 2023
Image credit: EUMETSAT/Meteosat-9, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers. Acquired at 10:30 UTC on May 3, 2023

An elderly man drowned in Castel Bolognese after being swept away by floodwaters while cycling on a closed road. Additionally, firefighters discovered a body in the debris of a collapsed house in Fontanelice due to extreme weather, and another person is reported missing.

“We are particularly concerned about the (Bologna) metropolitan area,” said Bologna Mayor Matteo Lepore. “The amount of rain that has fallen is very high, we have to be very careful.”

Numerous rivers swelled to hazardous levels, prompting rail operator FS to halt services on several routes – including those between Faenza and Forlì, Russi and Lugo, Russi and Granarolo, as well as Lavezzola and Mezzano.

The rain also forced the closure of many roads and resulted in severe traffic congestion.


This heavy rainfall event is expected to have minimal impact on alleviating the ongoing water scarcity crisis in northern Italy, which has been exacerbated by an extended period of below-average precipitation.


1 Two dead as extreme weather hits Emilia Romagna – ANSA – May 3, 2023

Featured image credit: Vigili del Fuoco (stillshot)


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