Extreme Weather in Italy on October 29 2018 06:01 PM (UTC).
Fierce storms that have continued to batter Italy for several days led to more casualties on Sunday after torrential rains caused deadly landslides on the island of Sicily. A spokesman for the Sicilian capital's Prefecture has said that the torrential rain triggered landslides and flood waters, which led to the death of ten people around the Palermo region. The spokesman added that some people continued to remain missing following the horrific landslides. Later in the day, officials from other areas on the island confirmed more fatalities that took the overall death toll from the storms in the country to 29. The local media quoted an official as saying that a car was hit by a landslide the Sicilian town of Agrigento, killing two people inside. The death toll due to bad weather that was released by Italy's Civil Protection Agency on Sunday stood at 17, excluding the deaths reported in Sicily through the day. Last week, officials said that violent storms lashing the country caused record-breaking rainfall in the country, leaving towns and cities submerged in flood waters. Floods in several parts of the country caused severe damages to roads, bridges and key infrastructure, and causing thousands of trees to be uprooted. Italy's northwestern coastal region of Liguria was said to be the hardest hit in the country, while most of the fatalities until Friday were reported in Naples, Liguria, Lazio and Veneto. Further, floods forced several highways in some key parts of the country to be closed down to avoid untoward accidents. On Wednesday, authorities said that a major European truck route in northern Italy - the Brenner Autobahn highway, which connects Italy's Modena with Innsbruck in Austria - was forced to close temporarily after heavy rains and floods caused a landslide. The storm severely damages several ports in Rome, tearing boats from their moorings. Authorities in the Italian capital city said that heavy winds had uprooted over 100 trees and forced the closure of some major tourist attractions, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Further, authorities in Venice said that the historic city had witnessed one of the worst floods in its entire history - which had caused flood waters to cover three-quarters of the city for the first time in a decade.

The adverse meteorological conditions in Venice were predicted to cause flooding that looked set to reach the levels of the devastating 1966 flood that struck both Venice and Florence. The flooding also caused possibly irreversible damage to the historic 924-year-old St. Mark's Basilica. The procurators of the church pointed out that the Basilica has experienced such conditions only once before in the last 100 years. By mid-week, the levels of flood waters were peaking at 156 cm and had entered the body of the cathedral, damaging the bronze metal doors and columns of the church and submerging its mosaic floors in water for several hours. The First Procurator Carlo Alberto Tesserin told the local news agency, "The basilica has aged 20 years in just one day. It is becoming ever more difficult for us and indeed could become impossible for us to repair the damage, especially in an age of climate change." By the end of the week, over 6,000 firefighters had been dispatched and were working to clear the debris across several roadways in the country. Further, the northern regions of Trentino and Veneto had reported the worst damage in the floods. Luca Zaia, the governor of Veneto estimated that storm damage in the region already amounted to at least a billion euros. On Sunday, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wrote on Twitter that he was leaving to visit Sicily. Conte said that he was also in constant touch with officials on the dramatic situation in the north of the country.
A wave of unrelenting bad weather has caused at least 15 deaths since Sunday, and now snow has reached some parts. Trees have been felled, rivers have broken their banks, and winds have sent debris flying around all over the country, from north to south. The death toll of the wave of extreme weather that is lashing Italy climbed to 15 on Friday, sources said - after St Mark's Basilica in Venice had been damaged by the highest acqua alta in years on Monday. Schools in many cities are closed again on Friday. Falling trees have been the cause of many of the deaths and of major disruption. There were four further deaths on Thursday. In the northern Trentino Alto Adige region, a man fell to his death while repairing a wind-damaged roof and another died in hospital from injuries sustained on Monday when his car crashed into fallen trees, ANSA sources reported. As well, an elderly couple was crushed to death in their car by a falling tree in the northern Val d'Aosta region. As well as Veneto, Liguria has been brought to its knees by the storms and a third of its olive crop has been lost. Also in Liguria, violent waves and winds broke very many large luxury yachts away from their berths and slammed them into the coastline at the private Carlo Riva Marina at Rapallo, near Genoa. Of the 390 yachts in the marina, half were destroyed, marina director Marina Scarpino said. In Venice, St Mark's Basilica was damaged by Monday's exceptionally high acqua alta in the lagoon city, the First Procurator of St Mark's, Carlo Alberto Tesserin, said. The high water submerged some tens of square metres of the thousand-year-old marble mosaic floor opposite the altar of the Madonna Nicopeia and completely inundated the Baptistery and the Zen Chapel, he said. The water reached a depth of 90 centimetres above the mosaic flooring of the Nartece, washing up against the monumental Byzantine doors, the columns and the marbles, he said.
Italy continues to bear the devastating aftermath of the storm that battered the region on Monday, damaging its iconic landmarks as hundreds of locals remain stranded. Almost 20,000 residents in Liguria are left scrambling without electricity after torrential floods and heavy rain devastated Italy on Monday evening. Roads remain blocked and rain links destroyed, leaving towns isolated as residents fear for their lives. Violent floods on Monday caused massive landslides, toppling trees and buildings in its path. A total of twelve people have died, and dozens remain injured as firefighters continue to carry out rescue missions to save stranded victims. Winds of up to 110mph hit the country on Monday evening, bringing two major tornadoes and 10 meters waves pounding along Italy's coasts. Heavy rains battered the country, overflowing rivers which brought flash floods across Italy's famous cities causing its iconic buildings to dilapidate. Genoa airport remains shut as masses of flooded debris crowded its runways, leaving hundreds of tourists stranded. Thick snow toppling on French and Italian mountainous regions has left dozens of tourists and workers trapped in their vehicles with many choosing to shelter in nearby hotels. Towns in Trentino, Friuli Venezia Giulia (Sappada) and Lombardy are blocked from access, after roads and rail links were destroyed. Portofino, where the family of former prime minister Silvio Berluscon live, remains isolated after a landslide blocked the town connecting to Santamaria Ligure. Governor Giovanni Toti of Liguaria said."It is currently not possible to calculate the damage, which could be hundreds of millions." Tuscany, Lazio, Veneto, Lombardy, Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Liguria and Venice are among the worst hit cities. Venice has experience near-record flooding levels, after the ferocious storm brought in flash flooding to the city, killing five people. Among those killed was a woman from Trentino-Alto Adige, who was trapped after mudslides flooded her home. A volunteer fireman was swept away by a tree during a rescue mission in South Tyrol, and a fisherman drowned in Lake Levico in Trentino. Angelo Borrelli, head of the national civil protection agency, said: "We are facing one of the most complex meteorological situations of the past 50 to 60 years." Italy's famous century-old structures have also bore the brunt of the storm, and several landmarks have been left completely destroyed. The Basilica of San Marco - a cathedral church in Venice - has been severely damaged after flood waters washed away most of its thousand-year-old marble mosaic floor. The church has also endured devastating damage to its bronze metal doors and columns, in its fifth most serious flood since it was built 924 years ago. First Procurator of San Marco, Carlo Alberto Tesserin, who is in charge of preserving the Basilica said: "In a single day the Basilica has aged twenty years". He added: "It is becoming ever more difficult for us and indeed could become impossible for us to repair the damage, especially in an age of climate change." Dozens of luxury yachts were destroyed after 10 meters waves pounded the coast for hours, breaking the 6.5 mere high dam. Elsewhere, firefighters were called out to the rescue of 19 people trapped in the seaside city. Meteorologists say weather conditions are expected to subside over the next few days but more rain is set to pummel Venice and other areas.
Violent storms battered Italy for a third consecutive day on Tuesday, killing at least 11 people, and flooding much of Venice. The lagoon city's St Mark's Square remained under water for a second day while the adjacent St Mark's Basilica was inundated, its baptistery totally flooded and its mosaic floors covered by 90cm (2ft 11in) of water. "The basilica has aged 20 years in just one day, and perhaps I am being overly optimistic about that," said Carlo Tesserin, the church's chief administrator. "It is becoming ever more difficult for us and indeed could become impossible for us to repair the damage, especially in an age of climate change." Italian media said it was the second time this century that the basilica had been flooded, and just the fifth time there had been such high water within the body of the cathedral in the structure's 1,000-year history. Widespread damage was also reported in towns and cities in the north, south and center of Italy. Many of the 11 deaths were caused by falling trees as winds as strong as 90mph whipped the country. One of the hardest hit regions was Liguria in the north-west. The breakwater walls in the chic seaside resort of Rapallo were destroyed by pounding waves, letting in a surge of water that toppled dozens of luxury yachts and inflicted heavy damage on the port area. Local media said a yacht owned by the family of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was one of those badly damaged. The nearby resort town of Portofino was cut off by a landslide while the video showed seawater pouring through the picturesque fishing village of Vernazza further to the south. The weather was expected to improve late on Tuesday and on Wednesday "giving the country a truce", an official from the civil protection agency told Reuters. Meanwhile, heavy snowfall across south-central France, with up to 40cm (16in) falling in some towns and villages, caused chaos on the roads and knocked out electricity to nearly 200,000 homes, authorities said on Tuesday.
The number of flood victims in Italy is growing rapidly. Torrential rain has affected the entire country. According to Italian civil protection authorities, the death toll in floods has risen to nine people. Rome's subway system was reportedly flooded, and rail transportation was interrupted. Schools and kindergartens are closed. The nation's shopkeepers are scooping up water in buckets, and the ceiling of one cafe collapsed on its patrons. Venice has found itself losing its centuries-old battle with rising water; its historic center is three-quarters submerged. ?Museum staff are attempting to save the surviving exhibits.