Rome [Italy]: Devastating floods have claimed eight lives in north Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday citing officials.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from the region as heavy outpours triggered widespread floods. The Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, scheduled for Sunday in Imola, was postponed due to flooding on Wednesday.
Nello Musumeci, the minister of civil protection, reported that some districts had received half their typical annual rainfall in just 36 hours, forcing rivers to overflow, sending water flowing through towns and engulfing thousands of hectares of farmland, Al Jazeera reported.
According to Musumeci, 50,000 people lack access to electricity.
On her route to the G7 conference in Japan, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni tweeted her solidarity for those impacted and said that the government was “ready to intervene with the necessary aid.”
Muddy water surged through the streets of Faenza, Cesena, and Forli just south of Imola, overflowing over the roofs of parked cars, engulfing several shops, and causing residents to seek refuge in the upper levels of their homes.
The government announced that emergency services needed to focus on the rescue efforts, forcing the cancellation of this weekend’s Formula One event in Imola, which is close to several of the worst-hit districts.
“The decision has been taken because it is not possible to hold the event safely for our fans, the teams, and our personnel,” the organisers said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera.