At least six people have been killed in central Tuscany when Storm Ciaran swept through Italy after causing chaos in more western parts of Europe.
Tuscany Governor Eugenio Giani said that six people died as torrential rain fell from the coastal city of Livorno to the inland valley of Mugello on Friday and rivers burst their banks flooding towns and villages.
The dead included two elderly people from the city of Prato, north of Florence, according to Italian news agency ANSA.
One person was also killed in Albania after they lost control of the car they were driving, bringing the storm’s death toll across the continent to 14.
Italian Civil Protection authorities said that 200 millimetres (nearly eight inches) of rain fell in three hours on Friday.
Giani said it was the heaviest amount of rain recorded in the last 100 years.
“There was a wave of water bombs without precedence,” Giani told Italian news channel Sky TG24.
Climate scientists say human-induced climate change has led to heavier rainfall during storms like Ciaran, often resulting in more severe damage.
“If the conditions are different than 20 years ago, it is obvious to everyone,” Nello Musumeci, the government’s minister for civil protection, told Sky TG24, noting that weather systems in Italy have become more tropical in nature.
At one point there were concerns the River Arno could flood the historic city of Florence, but the high water point passed without major incident.
Source: Al Jazeera