Central Italy has been hit by strong winds and rain, large areas of Tuscany are plagued by floods. Three people have died and six others are missing. This was reported by the Reuters agency or the BBC server.
The flooded Arno River overflowed its banks on Friday. As the water level rose, it swept away nearby cars. Some people were left trapped in their cars in underpasses. Some hospitals have been flooded and rescuers are using rubber boats to rescue people from their homes. Patients from three separate hospitals had to be moved to other facilities and many buildings were severely damaged.
Storm Ciarán brought strong wind and rain to the area, which has already cost the lives of 10 people in Western Europe.
Winds of 207 kilometers per hour were previously recorded on the northwest coast of France. The storm also affected southern England, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. It also arrived on the Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal.
One of the victims in Belgium is a five-year-old boy who was killed by falling trees. Power lines have been damaged, traffic is seriously disrupted in many places. Residents had to be evacuated from their homes on the Channel Island of Jersey.
The bridge collapsed, cars were swept away by the water
The storm arrived in Tuscany on Thursday night, reports the BBC server. Regional governor Eugenio Giani declared a state of emergency as winds reached speeds of 140 kilometers per hour. The worst affected areas include Livorno on the coast and the towns of Prato and Montemurlo near Florence.
In Montemurlo on Friday, officials said 200 millimeters of rain had fallen since Thursday afternoon and the Bisenzio River had burst its banks.
An 85-year-old man was found dead on the ground floor of his flooded house. Rescuers believe he was unable to climb the stairs to safety. A bridge collapsed near the city of Pistoia, killing two people. Another person died in the town of Rosignano, Reuters reports.
One missing person is reported by the Veneto region, Sky TG24 quoted the local governor.
The governor of Tuscany shared a video showing cars being washed away by floodwaters and urged people to move to higher floors.
The mayor of Prato, Matteo Biffoni, described the night’s events as “a punch in the stomach”. The floods left entire areas submerged, with the ground floor of the city’s Santo Stefano hospital partially flooded.