Spring weather disrupts life across the central Mediterranean

Severe storms bring damaging hail, destructive winds and a tornado to parts of Italy and the Balkans.

by

    Spring appears to have arrived with a vengeance across parts of the central Mediterranean.

    Italy has been ravaged by a tornado in the south, while there has been some flooding in the northern part of the country. 

    Across the Adriatic, melting snow has led to flooding in parts of central Croatia.

    The disruptive weather has been due to rising temperatures as warm, moist air has drifted in from the south.

    The most violent weather struck southern Italy, where according to the Severe Weather Europe monitoring service, at least 15 people were injured when a tornado ripped through the city of Caserta in the Campania region.

    A number of homes were struck by the storm. A truck was also overturned, and there were reports of damage to several cars which were hit by flying debris.

    The violent winds are reported to have picked up six caravans from a storage area, smashing them to pieces.

    Large hail also caused further damage, leading to power blackouts across the Italian province.

    Further north, the spring-like conditions have led to high water in St Mark's Square in Venice. Levels are currently at 119cm above sea level and have caused low-lying areas of the lagoon city to be flooded. 

    These spring-like conditions have also led to snow melting quickly across parts of the Balkans; the rapid thaw currently threatens flooding in central Croatia.

    The swollen Riva Una in Kostajnica has given much cause for concern. Residents have been out laying sandbags and pumping water away from basements as the waters continue to rise.

    Maja Bohm, who is the head of the Red Cross in the town said "the situation is presently under control".

    Bohm added: "Some houses have been flooded and are inaccessible, but water has not penetrated any of them, but we expect the water to rise by another 20 centimetres, so we remain on alert and are visiting people, evaluating the situation and can help them move furniture if it comes to that."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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