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Massive Flash Flooding In Italian City Catania Turns Roads Into Rivers

Flash flooding in Italy’s Catania city turned roads into rivers. Following this, the city's mayor urged the residents to remain in their homes till Tuesday.


IMAGE: Twitter/@tulipaola

In devastating scenes that emerged on Tuesday, massive flash flooding in Italy’s port city of Catania turned roads into rivers on the island of Sicily. Giuseppa Maria Spampinato, a government official based in Catania, in televised remarks on CNN called the situation extremely “critical”, as the main street in the city Via Etnea submerged completely underwater due to massive flooding.

Italy's Department for Civil Protection issued a red alert warning about heavy rainfall in northeast Sicily and the southwest region of Calabria. "Depression area on the central Mediterranean persists and is causing disturbed weather conditions in the southern areas of the country", the Italian government said in a statement. 

Two dead in severe flooding 

At least two people died in severe flooding, which prompted residents to evacuate and several businesses to shut down in an emergency. Footages circulating on social media showed water streaming on the streets in Catania, turning the roads into rivers as motor vehicles floated and garbage littered into the water. Weather forecasts predict that 100 to 150 millimeters of rain will fall from Wednesday to Friday. 

The water had engulfed the residential complexes completely. Catania mayor told the Italian reporters that the city had received its average yearly rainfall in just about 48 hours. A body of a man was spotted floating under the car in the town of Gravina, north of Catania after the major flooding ravaged the town. He was reported to be 53 years old. Another death of a 67-year-old man was reported who died in the powerful flooding. Rescue teams were searching for his wife, according to reports. 

“Since yesterday, our city has been experiencing a tragic situation linked to weather conditions that are battering the whole of Sicily’s eastern side”, Catania’s mayor, Salvo Pogliese, wrote on Facebook. Furthermore, he stated that the flooding was “unprecedented” due to its “force and intensity”. 

The major appealed to the residents that remained in their homes as of Tuesday. He said, 

“I urge everyone to not leave their homes unless it is for reasons deemed an emergency, as water has flooded the roads”

Futhermore, Pogliese ordered “all commercial activity” in the city suspended with immediate effect due to the bad weather, and “the seriousness of the situation”.


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