Emilia-Romagna remains on red alert on Saturday with rain returning to the north-eastern region. This week’s devastating floods claimed 14 lives, with over 36,000 evacuated.
Vast areas are still under water in Emilia-Romagna. Areas of the Apennines face the issue of landslides. The forecast rain could cause river levels to rise and break their banks again.
Premier Giorgia Meloni may return home early from the G7 summit in Japan to address the emergency.
This week’s extreme weather comes after Emilia Romagna was hit by storms that claimed two lives at the start of the month.
The number of people evacuated from their homes due to the floods rose to more than 36,600.
The majority of them – 27,775 – had to leave their homes in the Ravenna area. There were a further 4,830 in the province of Forlì-Cesena and 4,012 in the Bologna area.
Of these, 4,963 people are being put up in hotels or in temporary dormitories set up by local councils in schools, sports halls and gyms.
The remainder have found alternative solutions, going to holiday homes or being put up by families or friends.
The situation in the province of Ravenna is particularly bad, with drinking water and food in short supply in some areas.
Extreme weather events more frequent
Scientists say that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more intense due to human greenhouse-gas emissions.
“A connection between what is happening at the moment in Emilia-Romagna and the consequences of climate change exists,” said Mauro Rossi, a researcher for the National Research Council’s Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection (CNR-IRPI).