Northern Italy continued to battle against very bad weather on Monday. Many regions are affected by torrential rainfall, highly charged thunder storms, strong winds and landslides.
The fourth heatwave of the summer broke in spectacular fashion over the weekend with high winds and violent storms causing landslides and localised flooding.
Central Trieste was flooded after a ‘water bomb’ or torrential downpour with gales hit the port city in the northeastern Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The violent thunderstorm dumped a huge amount of water on the city centre in the space of 20 minutes, after which skies cleared.
Residents and tourists took refuge in the historic bars in and around the iconic seafront Piazza Unità d’Italia as winds blew away cafe tables and furniture.
High water was also reported in the Veneto city of Venice, further south.
On the other side of the country, in the northwestern region of Piemonte, firefighters and Carabinieri police had to intervene with a snowplough. They freed several cars trapped in heavy snow in Colle dell’Agnello near Cuneo on the border between Italy and France.
No one was injured and the vehicles were subsequently escorted down the valley, while the road remained closed.
The situation was also critical in Lombardy in the north, where a dozen people were evacuated as a precautionary measure in the small village of Santa Lucia in Valdisotto near Sondrio. There was partial flooding of the Frodolfo river at its confluence with the Adda river on Monday morning.
Disruption to international transport
The extreme weather also caused major disruptions to national transport connections. Italian road and motorway operator Anas announced the closure of three major roads in the northern regions of Lombardy and Piemonte.
Furthermore, the Italian-French Intergovernmental Commission for the Turin-Lyon railway line said that international railway connections between Italy and France through the Frejus tunnel had been suspended “for an indefinite period”. This following a landslide in France’s Alpine Savoy region bordering Piemonte on Sunday.
The Commission said French railway operator Sncf blocked all trains in their stations of origin. It could take days and maybe a week for services to be restored.
Not far away across the border in Piemonte, lightning knocked out rail systems in Novi Ligure, causing further disruptions on the Turin-Genoa line.