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The governor of Emilia-Romagna in Italy says the earthquake is “lessons” to help recover from the floods

The governor of Emilia-Romagna in Italy says the earthquake is “lessons” to help recover from the floods


[1/5] A view of a sculpture submerged in water due to flooding after heavy rains over Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, in Lugo, Italy, on May 19, 2023. REUTERS/Claudia Greco

MILAN (Reuters) – The governor of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region said on Friday that Emilia-Romagna will recover from this week’s devastating floods by drawing on lessons learned from the 2012 earthquake as the death toll from the disaster rose to 14.

“If there is a lesson we learned from the earthquake, it is that any emergency calls for quick and rapid rebuilding,” said district chief Stefano Bonaccini.

“Nothing will stop,” the governor told reporters, referring to business, tourism and other activities in the wealthy northern region.

Reuters video footage from the town of Lugo in Emilia-Romagna showed submerged cars and homes submerged as some residents rode their bikes or rowed in the watery streets.

More than 15,000 people have been forced from their homes by floods and hundreds of landslides, and many are confined to their homes with no electricity and dwindling food supplies. Some of the flood victims were evacuated and housed in a national museum, where volunteers provided them with beds to sleep on.

“I am very happy here … but I feel bad,” Gabriela Valenti, 74, told Reuters. “Maybe I am among the luckiest… I still have a home but there are people who have lost everything. They don’t know what to do to make us feel good.”

Bonaccini, who is due to meet Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday to discuss reconstruction efforts, said about 500 roads were destroyed or damaged.

The floods are the latest in a series of extreme weather events that have gripped Italy in the past year, as once extraordinary disasters have become a regular part of life.

The same region of Emilia-Romagna was hit hard by the weather at the beginning of May, with at least two people dying during the storms.

Meteorologists said heavy rains that followed months of drought dried out the land, reducing its ability to absorb water.

(Reporting by Alicia B.; Editing by Elvis Armellini and Aurora Ellis)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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