At least eight dead and several missing after the ‘water bomb’ hit the Marche

At least eight dead and several missing after the ‘water bomb’ hit the Marche

Rescuers help people aboard a rubber boat on a flooded street after heavy rain hit the seaside town of Senigallia (via Reuters)

Rescuers help people aboard a rubber boat on a flooded street after heavy rain hit the seaside town of Senigallia (via Reuters)

At least eight people have been killed and many more are missing after heavy rains and floods hit the central Italian region of Marche on Thursday.

Local authorities said they did not expect such a sudden “water bomb”, since in three hours about 400 millimeters of rain fell, which flooded the roads of several towns in the provinces of Ancona and Pesaro-Urbino.

“It was like an earthquake,” Ludovico Caverni, mayor of the municipality of Serra Sant’Abbondio, told RAI.

Footage released by firefighters showed rescuers on rafts trying to evacuate people in the seaside town of Senigallia, while others attempted to clear debris from an underpass.

Stefano Aguzzi, head of civil protection of the Marche Region, said that the storm was much stronger than expected.

“We were given a normal rain warning, but no one expected anything like that,” he told reporters.

The footage released by the firefighters showed operators walking the streets of the seaside town of Senigallia on beams to rescue people and evacuate them, while others attempted to clear an underpass of debris.

According to authorities, the rescue services were still looking for survivors.

Meanwhile, Italy’s center-left (PD) Democratic Party (PD) leader Enrico Letta tweeted that he would stop his campaign in the region ahead of the September 25 national elections.

He said: “Let’s stop our electoral campaign in the #Marche. As a sign of mourning and participation in the pain of affected families and to donate [to] to our volunteers all the necessary help with respect to the terrible damage of the # flood “.

More than 180 firefighters are currently at work on the scene as people in the area have sought refuge on the roofs of houses, reports the Italian newspaper. Corriere della Sera.

Alessandro Piccini, mayor of Cantiano, a town in the region, said on Facebook: “A water bomb is falling on Cantiano. Several rivers flow. The water has invaded the main roads of the country. Several areas are already submerged.

“The municipal road network is interrupted in several parts. The state direction of Gubbio is closed. We invite citizens to remain calm and avoid risky situations ”.

It is the last bad weather event that hit the country this summer.

The European state has suffered the worst drought of the last 70 years after months of decreasing water levels that have left the country’s longest river, the Po, visibly impoverished.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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