Ten people were killed and at least four others are still missing as flash floods raced through multiple towns in mountainous central Italy on Friday after hours of abnormally heavy rainfall, according to the authorities. Dozens of people who had survived the disaster made their way onto roofs or into trees in order to wait for assistance.
The flooding damaged doors and entered garages, basements, and even some homes. A violent surge of water carried a car into a balcony on the second floor of a building in one of the towns, while in another one of the towns, parked automobiles were crushed on top of each other in the streets. Some of the farmland that was located close to the sea had several metres (yards) of water covering it.
It was a tsunami, not a water bomb, “Riccardo Pasqualini, the mayor of Barbara, which is located in the Marche area of Italy and is close to the Adriatic Sea, spoke with the Italian state radio about the unexpected deluge that occurred on Thursday evening and how it devasted his town.
According to him, the floods that occurred over night left the town’s 1,300 people without access to drinking water. According to Pasqualini, who spoke to the Italian news agency ANSA, a woman and her small daughter were reported missing after attempting to flee the flooding. In another part of town, a kid was washed away from his mother while she was attempting to save him. The mother was eventually saved.
According to Premier Mario Draghi, there have been ten confirmed fatalities and four persons are still missing. About fifty persons were sent to hospitals for treatment of various injuries.
The fire service reported that scores of individuals who had been stranded in their vehicles or who had climbed to higher ground in order to escape the increasing floods had been saved. When police in the town of Sassoferrato were unable to free a guy who was caught in a vehicle, they reached out to him with a long branch, which he seized and used to free himself and go to safety.
Seven individuals were saved by rescue workers flying in helicopters to isolated communities in the Apennine Mountains.
On Friday, hundreds of firemen worked diligently to dig through deep mud while attempting to free fallen tree trunks and branches from the area where they were searching for persons who may have been buried by debris. They paddled on rubber dinghies while others paddled through water up to their waists in the streets that had been inundated in order to rescue people.
State television reported that in the town of Ostra, a father and his adult son were discovered dead in the flooded garage of their apartment building, where they had gone to try to remove their car. Additionally, a man who was killed while attempting to remove his motorcycle from a garage was also a victim of the flooding. A guy was discovered deceased in his vehicle at another location.
“As it played out, the flood was far, far worse than expected,” said Fabrizio Curcio, head of Civil Protection. “It was far, far worse than forecast.” On Thursday, a watch for hazardous weather conditions was issued, although it was not issued at the most severe category.
Hundreds of individuals were forced to abandon their houses or were removed from them by authorities before the structures could be examined for hazards and the mounds of mud removed.
“According to climatologist Massimiliano Fazzini, who was interviewed by Italian state television, the incident was “more than an uncommon one.” He said that the quantity of rain that poured, which was concentrated over a period of four hours that included a particularly heavy 15-minute stretch, was the most that has fallen in a period of hundreds of years based on his estimates.
According to meteorologists, a summer with almost no rainfall led to hillsides that were abnormally hard and dry. As a result, water rushed quicker down the slopes, which increased the force of its impact.
According to state TV, the area was flooded with the amount of precipitation that it normally gets in a period of six months, but it happened in only a few hours.
The river Misa broke its banks and flooded the town of Senigallia, which was one of the areas that was severely affected by the floods. When swift-moving torrents of water, mud, and debris flowed through the streets of Urbino, they also flooded the hillside hamlets that were located close by the popular tourist town of Renaissance Urbino.