At least 10 dead in Italy after gales, tide surges wreak havoc

At least 10 people are dead in Italy after two days of severe weather that’s caused historic flooding, authorities said.

A view of fallen trees and damage left at a street after strong winds hit Terracina, Italy, Monday. Photo by EPA-EFE
A view of fallen trees and damage left at a street after strong winds hit Terracina, Italy, Monday. Photo by EPA-EFE

Italy has seen gales that sent trees crashing into vehicles, water surges that destroyed a port and high tides in Venice that flooded the San Marco Basilica.

Dozens have been injured by the conditions.

The body of a woman was found Monday in Val di Sole, in the northeastern region of Trentino Alto Adige, and that of a surfer was recovered in Cattolica, a beach location on the Adriatic coast. The additions raised the toll to 10, Il Corriere della Sera reported.

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The port of Rapallo, in Liguria, saw the partial destruction of an external concrete structure that protected dozens of yachts from waves. Of 390 moored boats, more than half were destroyed, the newspaper added.

High waters flooded about three-quarters of Venice — including several areas of the San Marco Basilica, reaching 35 inches above mosaics of the millennium old church.

The floodwaters also led to a malfunction of the Venice sewer system, which caused flooding on the second floor of the modern art exhibition where two tapestries of Spanish painter Joan Miro — estimated at a half-million dollars each — were partly damaged.

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La Repubblica, which calculated the death toll at a dozen, reported some regions continued to see bad weather — including 60 mile-per-hour wind — and many schools closed across the nation.

“In 48 hours there have been over 7,000 interventions” by firefighters at a national level, many of them for removal of fallen trees, it reported.

Some mudslides isolated parts of the country and several rivers saw record levels and potential floods. In the northeast of Italy, snowstorms trapped tourists at resorts.

ByRenzo Pipoli