Sabato, 25 Maggio 2019
Dimensione testo

Red alert Rome braced for 'water bombs'


Rome, November 6 - Rome remained on high alert
Thursday as violent storms pelted the Italian capital with heavy
rains, hail, and thunderstorms, closing subway stations and
forcing aviation authorities to divert some flights.
A young woman who went into labour after violent rain
forced her to pull over in a service area outside Rome Thursday
morning give birth to her baby in an ambulance.
The 22-year-old woman, Vanessa, and her newborn were taken
to hospital in Tivoli and both are said to be in good condition.
Hail was reported on the capital's northern outskirts while
heavy rains forced the closure of four flooded metro stations
for part of Thursday, and six flights were diverted from Rome's
Ciampino airport to Fiumicino airport.
With the civil protection department expecting torrential
rain to lead to "water bombs", the authorities decided to close
schools and monuments in Rome Thursday.
Rome Prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro earlier said that the
weather forecasts were "unprecedented" and suggested Romans
avoid leaving their homes.
The high alert remained for the Lazio region around Rome
and as far south as Calabria and Sicily as severe weather that
rocked the north and central regions one day earlier slowly
shifted south.
With a slight easing in weather worries for Friday, schools
were scheduled to re-open in Rome.
And by the weekend, Rome and central Italy should see
slightly better conditions with rain gradually tapering off,
forecasters said.
"The low-pressure vortex...will escape to Greece on the
weekend, but Italy will remain exposed to cool and rainy
conditions," said Andrea Giuliacci of the Epson weather center.
Meanwhile, weather disturbances were reported all over the
country Thursday.
That triggered the government of Premier Matteo Renzi to
call a meeting with civil protection authorities, regional
governors, mayors, climatologists and a range of experts for
next Tuesday to discuss a long-term plan to deal with risks
posed by floods and land instability.
The situation remained critical in northern areas of the
peninsula including the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, where
authorities issued a river alert, and Veneto, with high water in
Venice reaching 103 cm above surface level.
In the mountainous northern province of Trentino roads were
closed due to landslides.
Authorities said that a 31-year-old woman and her
three-year-old daughter were killed in a landslide that engulfed
their home in Ticino in Switzerland near the border with Italy.
The house was swept away by a mudslide.
Similar risks of landslides and mudslides were heightened
by heavy rainfall in several parts of Italy, warned civil
protection authorities.
At the greatest risk were most of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia
region, Veneto, eastern Liguria, southern Tuscany, Umbria, much
of Lazio, and the Ionian coast of Calabria and eastern Sicily.
However, conditions were said to have improved Thursday in
Carrara, where one day earlier the rain-swollen Carrione River
burst its banks and flooded parts of the Tuscan city.
An inquiry into what caused banks to fail and cause
flooding was announced by Tuscany Governor Enrico Rossi.
By mid-morning Thursday, two-thirds of the floodwater water
was said to have subsided, however leaving roads covered in mud
and debris and making circulation difficult.
Forecasters warned of more bad weather to come for the
hard-hit Piedmont and Liguria regions in the northwest.

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