Italy floods: F1 Imola race canceled as deadly deluge prompts evacuations in Emilia-Romagna

  • Written by Yaroslav Lukiev
  • BBC News

photo caption,

The city of Faenza, where the AlphaTauri F1 team’s factory is located, was among the affected areas

Nine people have been killed and several more are missing after heavy rains caused floods in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, officials said.

About 10,000 people were evacuated, and some were rescued from rooftops by helicopter.

Authorities say 14 rivers broke their banks and flooded 23 towns. The mayor of Ravenna says his city is now “unrecognizable”.

The Emilia-Romagna F1 Grand Prix this weekend has now been cancelled.

Discussions on Wednesday between local authorities and race organizers at Imola concluded the event could not go ahead.

More rain is expected in the region in the coming days.

“It was probably the worst night in Romania’s history,” Michele Di Pascal, the mayor of Ravenna, told Italian public radio station RAI. “Ravenna is unrecognizable due to the damage she has sustained.”

And the French news agency quoted the mayor of the neighboring city of Forli, Gianluca Zattini, as saying that his city was “on its knees, devastated and in pain.”

In the city of Cesena, residents climbed onto rooftops and waited to be rescued by helicopter or boat.

The situation is “catastrophic”, the BBC’s Sophia Pettiza in Italy says in Castel Bolognese. The mayor added that thousands of people living in bungalows needed to be rescued.

Provincial President Stefano Bonaccini confirmed nine people were killed in the floods on Wednesday and said there had been hundreds of landslides that had cut off roads in the region.

In an earlier Facebook post, he urged residents not to go near rivers and advised people living near them to move to the upper floors.

Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, chaired an emergency meeting with civil protection officials, then thanked the rescuers who risked their lives to help the victims.

Teams of volunteers have arrived to help local emergency services on the ground in the Emilia-Romagna region.

image source, Victoria Nunn

explain video,

Italy floods: more rain on the way?

In some areas it was not possible to measure the precipitation, because the amount exceeded what their instruments could record.

BBC Weather presenter Chris Fox said northern Italy had shifted from severe drought to heavy rain, with the latest flash of flooding caused by Storm Minerva.

He added, “This area was also subjected to heavy rains at the beginning of the month, which led to floods, and this will lead to saturation of the soil, and it is less able to absorb this last round of heavy rains.”

“It stands in stark contrast to the state of emergency declared by the Italian authorities last year due to the continuing severe drought. More thunderstorms are expected in Italy over the next two weeks.”

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