Italy battered by bad weather

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A wave of bad weather has brought many parts of Italy to a standstill. A tornado in Porto Cesareo, in Salento, severely damaged the local port and completely destroyed a 60-meter-long pier.

About 100 boats docked at the port were also damaged.

In the Dolomites, snowstorms blocked roads and railway lines.

In Alto Adige, where 40 centimetres of snow fell in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, several roads were blocked by fallen trees, along with the rail line in Val Pusteria.

Due to heavy snowfalls, 15,000 were also left without electricity in Alto Adige, local officials said.

Firefighters were involved in 280 operations in the area, they said.

Many cellars were flooded in the city of Bolzano due to rainstorms although the highest number of problems were registered in the Val d’Ega, Val Gardena and Val Pusteria.

Meanwhile the Aeolian islands off Sicily have been isolated for three days.

Bad weather in southern Italy
 The illuminations that had been set up on the occasion of the feast for the Patron Saint of the town, San Trifone, collapsed due to the strong wind, in Adelfia, near Bari, southern Italy. EPA-EFE/DONATO FASANO

Ferries have been docked in ports since Monday afternoon due to rough seas (wind force 6-7). Commuters with the mainland (including teachers, doctors and clerks) have been stranded in Milazzo, Sicily, for days.

Trucks full of food are also blocked in Sicily and some products and medicines are starting to run out, local authorities said.

Schools on the islands are currently open part time.

Rainstorms also battered the southern port city of Naples, causing a huge sinkhole to form overnight in Via Masoni, where construction work was underway.

Several families were forced to temporarily leave their homes.

Flooding in Venice
View of damages at the historical Florian cafe in San Marco square, due to bad weather in Venice, northern Italy, 13 November 2019.. EPA-EFE/ANDREA MEROLA

Venice was in a state of crisis on Wednesday due to huge flooding after the high-water mark reached 187cm late on Tuesday, the highest level since the record 1966 flood.

“Venice is on its knees,” Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said via Twitter. “St Mark’s Basilica has suffered serious damage, like the whole city and the islands… We need everyone’s help to get through the next few days that are putting us to the test”.


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