Heavy rain causes floods in northern Italy

Torrential downpours causing rivers to overflow, forcing thousands of Italians from their homes in Liguria and Piedmont.

    Authorities have issued flood warnings across northern Italy as heavy rain has led to widespread flooding. Many rivers have overflowed.

    The swollen River Po, Italy's longest, burst its banks in Turin after 171mm of rain fell in just three days. In the 24-hour period up to 06:00GMT on Friday, the city recorded 116mm of rain compared with the November average of only 77mm.

    Homes were evacuated and schools and public businesses closed in northwestern Italy on Thursday as heavy rain caused the Tanaro River to overflow.

    Flood warnings have been issued in the regions of Liguria and Piedmont, which have been hardest hit. The bad weather struck the area, sending torrents of waves through the Tanaro and on to river banks and streets.

    Emergency services have been assessing the situation in the town of Garessio as streets around the river were closed and sandbags placed at shop entrances.

    At least 25 roads have been closed as the fast-moving, muddy waters battered stone and wooden bridges.

    Wedged into an isolated pocket between the mountains and the sea, where a mix of cold and warm air frequently leads to heavy rain, parts of Liguria and Piemonte are subject to storms and flooding.

    The heaviest rain has moved into the central Mediterranean but further showers are expected into the weekend.

    Additional reporting by Everton Fox

    SOURCE: Reuters


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