Deadly floods have ravaged the Emilia Romagna region in northern Italy, resulting in the loss of at least 14 lives and unleashing over 400 landslides.
The situation remains critical, with ongoing evacuations, displacements, and entire towns submerged beneath the floodwaters. The impact of these floods extends to the Apennine Mountains, where the landslides have led to the closure of 250 roads, isolating entire mountain communities. Helicopters are currently the only means of reaching these areas.
Enel, the Italian multinational electricity and gas company, reports that around 20,000 people have been forced from their homes, leaving approximately 27,000 without electricity.
This catastrophe follows a prolonged period of severe drought, which has left the soil compacted and incapable of absorbing heavy rainfall. The combination of extreme precipitation and compromised soil conditions has led to rapid runoff, causing rivers to overflow and alter their courses. More than 20 rivers have breached their banks, exacerbating the devastating effects.
Unfortunately, the situation could worsen the WeatherRadar indicates more rainfall on the way. Although not predicted to be excessively heavy, it poses a significant threat due to the already saturated ground. Even a rainfall amount of less than half an inch has the potential to trigger further disruptions and heighten the risk of landslides.
Italian authorities describe this flood as a "once-in-a-century" event and anticipate a long and challenging road to recovery. The extent of the damage and the profound impact on affected communities emphasize the urgent need for support.