More villages have been evacuated as Italy counts the cost of deadly floods

CEZENA. Authorities in Ravenna issued an immediate evacuation order on Thursday (May 18) for three villages devastated by torrential rains in northeastern Italy.

Buses were being dispatched to help residents evacuate from Vilanova di Ravenna, Filetto and Roncalceci after the river Lamon burst its banks.

About two dozen rivers and streams flooded in the southeastern Emilia Romagna region earlier this week after torrential rains flooded entire neighborhoods and fields.

More than 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and hundreds of landslides have been reported, regional officials said.

The rain stopped by Wednesday afternoon, and forecasters said no significant rainfall was expected on Thursday.

“But when we have six months of rain in 36 hours, falling where there was already record rain two weeks ago, there is no area that can withstand it,” Stefano Bonacini, president of the Emilia Romagna region, told TV channel La7 late. Wednesday.

“We had about two billion euros worth of damage two weeks ago… the ground is no longer absorbing anything,” Bonacini said.

Earlier this month, two people died in the same region after 48 hours of near-continuous rain.

Italy’s armed forces and coast guard joined the emergency, deploying helicopters to rescue desperate residents from their homes and using inflatable boats to reach houses surrounded by water on all sides.

As floodwaters receded in some areas, residents were left cleaning up homes and streets covered in thick mud and debris.

“I’ve lived here since 1979, I’ve seen floods come, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” Cesena resident Eduardo Amadori told AFP on Wednesday.

Thousands of farms in the fertile agricultural area were affected, but Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida said the water had to recede before the government could measure the damage.

Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola was canceled due to flooding, with organizers saying they could not guarantee the safety of fans, teams and staff.

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