In Italy, Liguria and Piedmont pay a heavy price for bad weather

In the streets of Garessio (Piedmont), on October 4, after the torrential rains that hit Italy.

On this side of the border, the cyclone was called Brigitte. But, for the rest, the images of desolation coming from north-western Italy, and particularly from Liguria and Piedmont, ravaged since Saturday by torrential rains, are the same as those coming from the neighboring Alpes-Maritimes. For the time being, the human toll remains difficult to establish with certainty, but it amounts to at least seven dead, while the material damage (mudslides, flooded residential areas, cut roads, collapsed bridges) is announce considerable. On Sunday, October 4, the Presidents of Liguria and Piedmont, Giovanni Toti and Alberto Cirio, announced that they were asking to be declared in a state of natural disaster. The request was to be submitted on Monday to the Council of Ministers.

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In Piedmont, where two deaths have so far been recorded, Saturday was marked by unprecedented accumulations of precipitation, breaking all the records in the region, which dated back to 1958. With no less than 630 millimeters of rainfall in twenty-four hours, the locality of Sambughetto, in northern Piedmont, recorded the highest rainfall, but many municipalities recorded comparable rainfall, which represents half of the annual average rainfall . As a result of these exceptional waterfalls, the level of Lake Maggiore, on the borders of Piedmont and Lombardy, rose by more than 2 meters during the single day of Saturday, causing extensive damage to the shores.

“Don’t let your guard down”

But, as with every episode of heavy autumn rains in northern Italy, it was Liguria, severely disadvantaged by its rugged geography and capricious waterways, that paid the heaviest price for the weather. The western part of the region, close to the French border, was the most affected: five bodies were returned by sea, from San Remo to Ventimiglia, while the Roya flood, which flows into the Mediterranean at Ventimiglia , caused very heavy damage. Sunday, while ensuring that the hardest part was over, the president of the region, Giovanni Toti, called on the populations to “Do not let your guard down” in the coming days, also announcing that the return to normal would be long, given the number of roads blocked by falling trees or landslides.

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“We continue to work in the region to free it from the mud (…) particularly in the hinterland of San Remo, where the damage from bad weather was most severe “, he said live on Facebook on Monday morning.

While the most spectacular deterioration was observed in the western part of Piedmont and Liguria, bad weather caused heavy damage throughout the north of the country, especially in the province of Bolzano (Trentino Alto Adige) , where extensive flooding has been reported. Good news, however, which all Italian media pointed out: on Saturday, when a acqua alta (“High tide”) relatively high was announced in the Venetian lagoon, the MOSE mobile dyke system, which was used for the first time in real conditions, worked, and St. Mark’s Square, which should have been flooded. on about twenty centimeters of water, remained dry.

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