The situation is “very critical,” Giuseppa Maria Spampinato, a Catania-based government official, told CNN on Tuesday. From the look of her office window, Spampinato said the main street in the city – Via Etnea – looked completely flooded.
On Monday, Italy’s Department of Civil Defense issued a red alert – the highest level warning – for floods in northeastern Sicily and the southwestern region of Calabria. A red alert was issued for the second day on Tuesday due to other expected heavy rainfall.
“A” depression zone in the central Mediterranean continues and is causing turbulent weather conditions in the southern areas of the country, “the Italian government said on Monday.
Heavy rains and strong winds have hit southern Italy since Sunday, with half a meter (approximately 20 inches) of rain reported in the region.
The highest amounts of rainfall from Sunday to Tuesday morning are from Linguaglossa, Sicily, at 520.4 millimeters (20 inches) and Fabrizia, Calabria, at 440.2 millimeters (17 inches). Catania reported 167 millimeters (7 inches) in 24 hours, more than double the October average rainfall of 62.7 millimeters (2 inches)
This stormy area will wind south of southern Italy, continuing with rain and strong winds in the region, and then move over Sicily on Thursday, again increasing the possibility of heavy rainfall and strong winds.
Weather models predict 100 to 150 millimeters rainfall will fall from Wednesday to Friday, where localized areas will have higher amounts.
Catania Mayor Salvo Pogliese has ordered schools and public kindergartens to remain closed on Tuesday due to the situation, according to the Catania municipality website. Residents are also banned from landslides in areas that are subject to landslides and along the coastal road, due to expected storms of “special intensity”.
On Tuesday, the Italian fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco, said on Twitter that there had been 250 calls due to bad weather in Catania. A search for a missing woman in the municipality of Scordia, in Catania, is continuing after a man was found dead on Monday, the service said.
The head of the Civil Defense Agency in Sicily, Salvo Cocina, told Reuters on camera on Monday: “Today, we continued the search for the missing people. We have found the body of the man, not yet the body of the woman.
“This area is about a kilometer away from where they left their car. Yesterday, 250 millimeters (9.8 inches) of rain fell here, a really massive amount. The water flooded the roads and this may have made them leave “cars in panic., maybe they could have stayed there. And they were abducted by the fury of the water.”
In the Calabria region, there had been 140 calls in Reggio Calabria, 52 in Cosenza, 49 in Vibo Valentia. More than 300 firefighters are involved in flood-related operations.
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