Sardinia cyclone, island hit by deadly cyclone and flooding : worldleaks
At least 17 people have been defeated in flooding moved by a cyclone and heavy rain that lashed the Italian island of Sardinia.
A number of people are reported missing after rivers burst their banks, sweeping cars away and causing bridges to collapse.
The worst-hit area appears to be in and around the north-eastern city of Olbia.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta has declared a state of emergency, speaking of a “national tragedy”.
Mr Letta announced that 20 million euros (£16.8m, $27m) would be allocated immediately to relief efforts.
A Brazilian family of four submerged when their basement flat in the town of Arzachena, in the northern part of the island, filled with water. Two children were among the dead.
Three people died when a road bridge collapsed on to their car near Olbia, according to local media.
In a separate incident, a mother and her daughter were found dead in their car after it was swept away by floods.
Among the victims was a police officer who died after a bridge collapsed as he tried to escort an ambulance.
- A cyclone is an area of low pressure
- Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones are region-specific names for different sorts of cyclones
- The term “cyclone” refers to the storm’s rotating winds
- The only tropical cyclone recorded to have hit Europe was Hurricane Vince in 2005
- Cyclone winds spin anti-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere
Hundreds of people across the Mediterranean island have been moved from their homes because of the flash flooding caused by Cyclone Cleopatra.
“We are at maximum alert,” Giorgio Cicalo, an official from Sardinia’s civil protection authority, told Italy’s Rai TV.
“We have not seen a situation as extreme as this, perhaps for decades – especially because it’s been across the whole island.”
Reports say flood waters in some areas were up to 3m (10ft) high.
Sardinian Governor Ugo Cappellacci told Italian TV that the situation on the island was “dramatic”.
Meanwhile Olbia Mayor Gianni Giovanelli was quoted by Sky TG24 as saying that the city had been hit by an “apocalyptic”‘ storm.
Some city residents used social media to offer shelter to those forced out of their homes.
The BBC Weather Centre says the flooding was caused by a deep area of low pressure that has been sitting over the Mediterranean, bringing sustained heavy rain.
The unstable conditions are expected move across Italy and further east, bringing further downpours and the threat of flooding, particularly in Venice.
The storm caused wide damage to farms in Sardinia and disrupted a number of flights to and from mainland Italy.
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