Italian rescue crews help stranded residents in central Italy after heavy rains on Thursday led to serious flash flooding that killed several people. Photo courtesy Vigili del Fuoco/Twitter
Sept. 16 (BP) — Several people have died in central Italy after heavy rains produced flash flooding that also cut power and made water supplies unusable, authorities said.
Heavy flooding was reported in multiple areas, including the Marche region near the Adriatic Sea. Officials said at least 10 people have died as a result of the flooding.
Italy’s emergency fire and rescue agency said that multiple people were also reported missing after at least 16 inches of rain fell in parts of the country on Thursday night.
“It wasn’t a water bomb, it was a tsunami,” Riccardo Pasqualini, the mayor of the village of Barbara, told state-run radio. He is from the Marche region.
The emergency agency said it rescued several people late Thursday and early Friday, some from rooftops and others in trees.
Firefighters also sent in lifeboats to rescue stranded residents. Rescue crews from areas outside the flood zone — like Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Abruzzo — were expected to help in the rescue operations.
Italian civil protection official Stefano Aguzzi told reporters that the amount of rain that fell Thursday turned out to be much more than expected. The heaviest flood damage was reported in the Adriatic port city of Ancona.
“Nobody had expected anything like this,” Aguzzi said according to Sky News.
Ludovico Caverni, an area mayor, told Italian radio RAI that the flash flooding was “like an earthquake.”
Italy isn’t the only country facing deadly floods. Hundreds of people have died in Pakistan as a result of flooding there that was also triggered by heavy rains during its monsoon season.