Flooding displaces over 36,000 people in northeastern Italy | News

In Emilia-Romagna, deadly floods caused more than 305 landslides and damaged or closed more than 500 roads.

More than 36,000 people have been forced from their homes by illegal activities. Deadly floods in northeastern ItalyLocal officials said rising waters had swallowed more homes and new landslides had isolated communities.

This week, 14 people died when roads in cities and towns in Emilia-Romagna turned into rivers.

Fire officials said one of the four people on board was injured when a helicopter participating in power restoration work crashed near Lugo on Saturday.

The heavy rain caused more than 305 landslides in the region, damaging or closing more than 500 roads.

Video footage from the affected town showed cars submerged and homes submerged as some residents rode bicycles and paddled along flooded roads.

Bologna’s mayor Matteo Lepore said on Saturday that repairing roads and infrastructure “will take months, even years”.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdelhamid, reporting from the city of Faenza in the Emilia-Romagna region, said the damage was visible “everywhere”.

“The city is covered in mud and people are beginning to understand what has been lost, past and present,” she said.

Faenza, known for its porcelain, was detecting damage “by the minute”. “People are doing their best to retrieve the works of art,” Abdelhamid said.

A local library reported that more than 10,000 books were lost in the floods.

People rescued in Faenza, Italy [Luca Bruno/AP]

In the town of Lugo, some of the evacuated flood victims took refuge in the National Museum, where volunteers provided them with cots to sleep on.

“I’m very happy here…but I feel bad,” 74-year-old evacuee Gabriela Valenti told Reuters. She said, “I’m probably one of the luckiest humans… I still have a home, but there are others who have lost everything. They don’t know what to do to make us feel good.” ”

The floods are the latest in a string of extreme weather events to hit Italy over the past year, as once exceptional disasters became part of everyday life.

The same area of ​​Emilia-Romagna was hit by extreme weather in early May, with at least two people killed in storms.

Months of drought were followed by heavy rains that dried the land and reduced its ability to absorb water, meteorologists said.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has said she will leave the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Hiroshima a day early to lead the response to the floods.

“I have decided to go back to Italy. Frankly, I cannot afford to be so far from Italy in these difficult times. I was away for more than two days, but my conscience returned to me. I am asking them to come,” she said at a press conference, adding that she had told other G7 leaders.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Meloni thanked the G7 leaders and others who expressed solidarity with Italy and those affected by the floods.

“Your closeness is a clear sign of our solidarity in difficult times. Thank you,” he tweeted.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Unipol Gruppo have agreed to work together to help people affected by flooding in northern Italy stay connected to the internet to facilitate rescue efforts, the Italian insurance company said on Saturday. Announced.

Under the agreement, Unipol will acquire SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet terminal and make it available to rescuers, hospitals and the general public. SpaceX is prioritizing the Emilia-Romagna region and deploying satellites to improve coverage.

“SpaceX, Starlink and Tesla are happy to do whatever it takes to help Italy and those affected by the floods,” Musk said in a statement.

Musk-founded SpaceX sent more than 5,000 Starlink satellite internet antennas to Ukraine days after Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Emilia-Romagna governor Stefano Bonaccini said the region would recover from devastating floods by implementing lessons learned from the 2012 earthquake.

“If there’s one lesson we’ve learned from the earthquake, it’s that any emergency requires quick and rapid recovery,” Bonaccini said.

“Nothing can be stopped,” the governor told reporters, referring to business, tourism and other activities in the wealthy northern region.

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