The authorities announced on Wednesday that 13,000 people had to be evacuated. 23 communities were severely affected by the floods. Forli is partially flooded after the Montone river burst its banks.
There were also severe floods in the cities of Cesena, Faenza, Senigallia, Riccione and Rimini. In Faenza, people climbed onto the roofs of their houses to save themselves from the tidal waves. Some people were taken to safety by helicopters. There were power outages in several parts of the city, and there were also problems with the telephone connections.
The municipality of Bologna called on citizens to only drive in urgent cases. Parts of the A14 motorway near the city of Pesaro have been closed. Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi arrived in Bologna to coordinate the rescue operation across the region. He flew over the flooded area in a helicopter.
Many mayors, including those of the cities of Bologna, Faenza, Ravenna and Forlì, decided to keep the schools closed on Wednesday as more storms were expected. The rain that ravaged all of Emilia Romagna, from the hills to the coast, also paralyzed the Adriatic city of Riccione.
Many vehicles were blocked by masses of water in the underpasses. In Pesaro, the fire brigade had to go out repeatedly because of flooded streets. In view of the severe storms, the Gran Prix planned for next weekend in Imola has been cancelled.
Train traffic came to a standstill
The rail connections between Forli, Rimini and Ravenna came to a standstill. The railway network operator RFI discontinued several train connections. Countless trains were cancelled. As a precautionary measure against the high waves, the municipalities of Ravenna and Cervia issued a ban on access to the beaches. Floods and landslides occurred in the provinces of Pesaro and Urbino.
Residents in Emilia Romagna have been urged to avoid unnecessary journeys and work from home. Within a few hours, as much precipitation had fallen as usual in months. Wind gusts of 120 kilometers per hour were reported in Trieste, the capital of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. Flooding in Venice is expected.
The government has already approved 10 million euros for the first expenses and emergencies following the floods. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said her government would support the Emilia Romagna region during this difficult time.
Tuscany was also hit by severe storms. The ferry connections between the port city of Piombino and Rio Marina on the island of Elba have been interrupted due to the strong winds. Another ten days of unsettled weather are expected, meteorologists said. On Thursday, a Tunisian hurricane will hit the central Adriatic and bring severe storms again.
Images show the extent of the destruction in the city of Cesena: