More than 36,000 people displaced in northern Italy
The devastating floods in northeast Italy have uprooted more than 36,000 individuals from their residences, according to regional authorities.
The rising waters continue to engulf homes, while fresh landslides isolate small communities, exacerbating the crisis.
The deluges, characterized by their intensity, claimed the lives of 14 individuals earlier this week, turning streets across Emilia Romagna into raging rivers.
With further rainfall pouring down, the red weather alert has been extended until Sunday, as announced by regional officials.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed her decision to depart the G7 summit in Japan prematurely to address the unfolding emergency.
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, she emphasized the complexity of remaining distant from Italy during such a critical period.
Meloni expressed her gratitude towards the 5,000 individuals, including rescue workers and volunteers, who have actively engaged in providing aid to those affected by the floods. She also acknowledged the supportive offers from fellow G7 leaders.
Scheduled for Sunday, Meloni plans to personally visit some of the hardest-hit areas, witnessing the extent of the damage firsthand.
Meanwhile, authorities in Ravenna have mandated the immediate evacuation of additional vulnerable hamlets to ensure the safety of residents.
Tragically, a helicopter involved in efforts to restore electricity crashed near Lugo on Saturday, resulting in an injury among the four individuals on board, as confirmed by the fire service.
The floods have triggered more than 305 landslides and inflicted damage or forced closure of over 500 roads throughout the region.
Electrician Mauro Lodola shared his experience, recounting how the water began to rise rapidly, originating from the fields, after nearby canals swelled due to flooded rivers.
Lodola, standing amidst the murky water enveloping his house, expressed his yearning for a swift resolution to the situation, to move forward and rebuild their lives.
Emotionally overwhelmed, Lodola displayed the devastation within his home. The water encroached upon the kitchen, submerging the fridge, and reached the mattress on his bed, beneath which salvaged furniture was piled high.
Outside, a shed witnessed a white door drifting by, while the relocated chickens clucked nervously, having been rescued from the imminent danger.
Mayor Matteo Lepore of Bologna acknowledged the extensive time required for the arduous process of restoring roads and infrastructure.
He estimated that in certain areas, it may take months, or even years, to complete the necessary repairs, underscoring the magnitude of the reconstruction efforts ahead.