Rescue teams continue to work to save flood victims in northern Italy. Photos/BBC
ROMA – Casualties in the disaster flood worst in Italia for 100 added years as tens of thousands of people were forced from their homes. The elderly and the disabled were trapped in their homes as rescuers worked through the night to save people under the pouring rain.
Floods in the northern Emilia-Romagna region have claimed 13 lives on Thursday (18/5/2023) evening local time. An estimated 20,000 people were left homeless in the disaster which caused 23 rivers to overflow and 280 landslides, affecting 41 cities and towns.
Roads remain blocked after a landslide occurred in Sasso Marconi on Thursday afternoon, and trains were either canceled or disrupted.
Among the dead was an elderly couple trapped inside their home in Cava, a hamlet in Forli-Cesena province.
“We heard their cries for help,” a neighbor told Il Messaggero newspaper.
“We tried to get them out, but it was no use,” he added as quoted by The Guardian.
An 80-year-old man reportedly drowned in his basement after going to collect his belongings, and a husband and wife, identified as Sauro Manuzzi and Marinella Maraldi, who owned a company producing herbal medicine, were flooded in the fields opposite their home.
The body of Maraldi, 70, was swept 12 miles down the river before being found on the beach along the Adriatic coast. A 76-year-old man died after being hit by a landslide in his garden, while another man, aged 43, died after falling into a well while trying to pump water from his property.
Firefighters have carried out 2,000 rescue operations across the region and in the central part of the Marche which has also been affected by the floods.