Massive flooding is taking its toll on 24 cities in northern Italy. Apocalyptic floods have destroyed homes, leaving at least eight dead.
The holiday region of Emilia-Romagna has been hit especially hard, with 5,000 being evacuated from the 24 towns that make up the region and the cancellation of the Italian Grand Prix in Imoa after once quiet streets were turned into turbulent waterways.
Families, including small children, were forced to climb to rooftops in the hopes that they might be rescued by rescuers piloting helicopters.
The death toll stands at eight presently, but many have been reported missing, and there are fears the death toll will rise when the raging waters recede.
Upon hearing reports of three confirmed dead, Mayor Gian Zattini of Forli lamented that, in her opinion, the city is in pain and on its knees, and the flooding is “the end of the world.”
In Cesena, the mayor described the situation as critical, as locals were forced to swim through impassable flooded streets filled with submerged automobiles and floating furniture to reach the safety of the higher ground.
A 70-year-old man perished when his home flooded, but rescuers saved his wife.
A desperate mother in chest-deep water holding her small daughter was caught on video frantically trying to signal anyone nearby for help.
One of the two men swimming to the rescue put the daughter on his shoulders to save the girl from the rapidly moving waters.
The daughter was helped onto a nearby bank as the woman’s neighbors helped the mother to safety.
In Forli, two bodies were found by divers following the Montone River overflowing its banks. That city’s mayor said these were the worst floods the city had ever experienced.
The Savio River overflowing its banks from 20 inches of rain in 36 hours contributed to the massive flooding in Ravenna, Forli, and Cesena. The area received half the annual rainfall in that short time.