At least nine people have now been killed by severe flooding which struck the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna this week, regional president Stefano Bonaccini announced on Wednesday.
Many people are missing and some 10,000 have been evacuated. Strong rains provoked landslides and severe flooding across the northern Italian region and nearby coastal areas.
Some of the worst-hit regions include Ravenna, Rimini and Bologna. Firefighters report that the towns of Faenza, Cesena, and Forlì have been the hardest hit.
From severe drought to devastating flooding.At least five people have died and many others are missing after heavy rain slammed Italy's northern Emilia Romagna region. The 2023 Imola GP has officially been cancelled by Formula 1. Rescue operations are underway. pic.twitter.com/cQczzijzEV — Nahel Belgherze (@WxNB_) May 17, 2023
Heavy flooding has destroyed many homes and left some villages cut off from rescue crews.
Rescue workers have saved dozens of people who were forced to climb onto their roofs after the banks of the Savio river burst. All but two of the region’s 23 rivers have burst their banks and authorities have recorded 250 landslides.
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According to Italy’s Civil Protection Department, 50,000 people have been left without electricity and around 100,000 without cellular connection.
Sending all our love to everyone in the Emilia-Romagna region right now. ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/jWOFHTwkO8— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) May 17, 2023
Flooding has forced Formula 1 organisers to cancel the upcoming Romagna Grand Prix at the Imola Circuit. The racecourse is currently partly submerged in water and difficult to access due to challenging road conditions.
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “It is such as tragedy to see what has happened to Imola and Emilia-Romagna, the town and region that I grew up in, and my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the flooding and the families and communities affected.”