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At least eight dead after ‘water bomb’ flash floods likened to ‘earthquake’ hits Italy | World News


At least eight people have died after devastating flash floods like an earthquake swept through villages in central Italy on Thursday night.

Three people are missing after deluges saw 40cm of rain falling in the Marche region.

Local authorities said they were not prepared for the “water bomb” to suddenly drop within 2-3 hours, causing cars to be swept away.

Water flooded the streets of several towns in the regional capital, Ancona, on the Adriatic coast, and in the provinces of Pesaro-Urbino.

Image of rescuers using lifeboats to bring people to safety while others try to clear debris.

Up to 40cm of rain fell in just 2-3 hours in the central region of Marche
Picture:
Up to 40cm of rain fell in just 2-3 hours in the central region of Marche
Elderly people are evacuated after heavy rains hit the east coast of Marche, Italy
Picture:
Elderly people are evacuated after heavy rains hit the east coast of Marche, Italy
Partially flooded cars on a flooded street in the Marche . region
Picture:
Partially flooded cars on a flooded street in the Marche . region

The mayor of the town of Serra Sant’Abbondio, Ludovico Caverni, said the downpours were “like an earthquake”, state radio RAI reported.

The head of the civil protection department of the Marche regional government, Stefano Aguzzi, said the rain was much stronger than forecast.

“We’ve been warned normally about rain, but nobody expected something like this,” he told reporters.

The head of the national civil protection agency, Fabrizio Curcio, is traveling to Ancona to assess the damage.

Aerial photos show devastation in the Marche . area
Picture:
Aerial photos show devastation in the Marche . area
People work to clear debris and mud left after deadly floods hit Cantiano in Marche
Picture:
People work to clear debris and mud left after deadly floods hit Cantiano in Marche

Italian police say several villages have been isolated and many roads closed due to inclement weather leaving a trail of devastation.

Meanwhile, political party leaders campaigning for the September 25 general election in Italy also expressed solidarity with rescue efforts.

The leader of the center-left Democratic Party, Enrico Letta, said it would suspend the Marche campaign as a “sign of mourning” and allow local activists to help flood-hit communities. .

Mr Letta tweeted on Thursday morning: “Stunned and speechless in the face of the tragedy that befell Marche.

“Thinking of and crying for the victims.”

He expressed hope that the rescuers would “succeed in their relentless work”.



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