Heavy rain continues: Severe flooding hits northern Italy
17 May 2023
Heavy rain continues
Severe flooding hits northern Italy
Extreme flooding hit Italy on Tuesday with hospital rooms submerged, subways and bridges blocked, and railways shut.
Torrential rainfall forced residents in Ravenna to seek refuge in upper floors of properties to avoid flood water, while in Riccione the ground floor of the Ceccarini Hospital was also underwater.
Emergency services worked to pump water out of the impacted properties but heavy rain remains in place for much of Wednesday.
The worst of this rainfall is situated between Marche and Emilia-Romagna. Railway traffic is suspended in the region, while Formula 1 personnel preparing for this weekend’s Imola Grand Prix were removed from the circuit on Tuesday over landslide concerns.
The intense rainfall seen Tuesday has aggravated the already delicate situation in Emilia-Romagna. Since midnight, up to 130 litres of water per square metre fell through the day.
Rain was also accompanied by strong winds, approaching 62 mph in some areas pushing storm surges inland at coastal areas adding to the damages.
With soil now saturated, unable to absorb and drain excess water the flood risk will remain elevated for the duration of the rain throughout Wednesday.
The Emilia-Romagna region was also hit by severe flooding earlier this month on May 2nd after heavy rainfall resulted in at least two casualties.
Despite these floods, the region is in the grip of a long-standing drought after a summer of low rainfall and above-average temperatures. This drought remains in place and requires sustained periods of rainfall to replenish water supplies.