At least eight people have died and thousands have been evacuated as torrential rains battered northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, triggering widespread floods, officials said on Wednesday. Officials added that the Imola Grand Prix scheduled on this weekend has been was cancelled.
“Overall in Forli there were three victims, one in Cesena and one in Cesenatico,”, which could be a German man previously reported missing, a local authority official told AFP. Emilia Romagna, which is one of Italy’s richest regions.
Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci said, ” Around 20 inches of rain fell within 36 hours in Forli, Cesena and Ravenna — around half the normal annual rainfall, a situation “with few precedents”, “It is still a very critical situation, adding that while the rain was still falling,
According to news agency AFP, Gian Luca Zattini, the mayor of Forli, a city near Bologna where three people died, said, “It’s the end of the world. The city is on its knees, devastated and in pain.” Two of the bodies in Forli were recovered by divers on Wednesday morning, as part of a huge rescue effort involving emergency services and the armed forces.
The flooding caused the cancellation of the Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which had been due to take place in Imola on Sunday. Organisers said they could not guarantee the safety of fans, teams and staff.
“It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time,” they said.
Rescue workers had worked through the night to save children, the elderly and the disabled from the rising waters.