Sicily floods leave two dead

Sicily floods: Two dead after fierce storm batters Italian island

By Region News Southern Italy The Islands

Emergency authorities warn it is ‘situation critical’ after Sicily floods following a fierce storm. Catania and surrounding areas are left underwater and two people die as the ‘Medicane’ wreaks havoc.

The rare weather system, believed to be a Medicane or Mediterranean cyclone, hit as sea levels were 8C warmer than average, forecasters said.

More than 300mm of rain – almost half the average amount expected on the Mediterranean island in a year – fell in just a few hours on Sunday.

At least two dead in Sicily floods

Emergency authorities issued the highest red alert warning for the northern tip of Sicily and Calabria in southern Italy. It warns of a potential risk to life and damage to property.

At least two people are dead after the devastating storm. A man’s body was found under a car as torrential winds and rain swept through the town of Gravina, north of Catania, according to volunteer rescue workers.

The body of another man, 67, was found in a citrus grove far from where his car was hit by rising waters and mud. His wife, 54, is missing emergency services said on Monday.

More rain expected in coming days

A low-pressure system in the central Mediterranean caused the significant amount of rain. More heavy rain is forecast in southwest Italy and Sicily over the next few days, possibly another 100-200mm.

As much as 250mm is possible in some spots. Flooding is a big concern. Lightning, hail and gusting winds are additional hazards. As a result, there are red warnings until today in the southwest and until the end of Thursday for Sicily.

Follows extreme rainfall in northwest Italy

The south was hit just weeks after the 12-hour European rainfall record was broken in northwest Italy.

Rossiglione in Genoa, Liguria, saw a massive 741mm of rain falling in just 12 hours on 4 October. The rainfall set a new European record.

The mayor of Catania wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday, “I urge all people not to leave their homes except for emergencies.”

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