Flood devastation in Italy, 9 killed, thousands homeless, Formula One race canceled

Italy floods

New Delhi: Heavy rains in Italy’s northern Emilia-Romagna region killed nine people and thousands were evacuated from their homes. The flood caused landslides at some places. Civil Defense Minister Nelo Musumesi said some areas had received half of the average annual rainfall in just 36 hours, causing rivers to overflow. The river dams have broken in many places.

Meanwhile, the Formula One Grand Prix at Imola, which was scheduled for Sunday, was cancelled. Stefano Bonaxini, president of the Emilia-Romagna region, told reporters: “We are facing catastrophic events that have probably never been seen before. An extraordinary amount of rainfall has fallen on land that is no longer capable of absorbing them.”

The Adriatic coastal city of Ravenna, famous for its early Christian heritage sites, was badly affected. A local interior ministry representative said about 14,000 people needed to be evacuated from the area as soon as possible, news agency Reuters reported.

Officials said the floods affected 37 towns and communities and about 120 landslides were recorded. Many train services were suspended.

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