Storms hit Italian island of Sardinia: 14 dead

The toll from flash floods that swept through Italy's holiday island of Sardinia has risen to 14, regional president Ugo Cappellacci said on Tuesday.

On Monday rivers broke their banks and a cyclone smashed cars, flooded homes and brought down bridges on the island. The previous toll stood at nine

Television pictures showed torrential rain, with streets submerged in muddy floodwaters and rivers bursting their banks.

Two tankers are battered by gale winds while at the roadstead in the rough waters of the Gulf of Cagliari, Sardinia, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. A violent rainstorm that flooded entire parts of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia has led to the deaths of at least nine people. Bridges were felled by swollen rivers and water levels reached 3 metres (yards) in some places. (AP)


"We're at maximum alert," Giorgio Cicalo, an official from the Civil Protection Authority in Sardinia told RAI state television. "We haven't seen a situation as extreme as this, perhaps for decades. Especially because it's been across the whole island."

 



Rescuers work in a flooded street in the small town of Uras, Sardinia, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. A violent rainstorm that flooded entire parts of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia has led to the deaths of at least nine people. Bridges were felled by swollen rivers and water levels reached 3 metres (yards) in some places. (AP)


Local newspapers Unione Sarda and Nuova Sardegna reported in their online editions that nine people had been killed with the storm still raging but it was not immediately possible to confirm the figure with local officials.

"I can't confirm the figures but there have certainly been dead and there are missing," Gianni Giovannelli, the mayor of Olbia, a town in the island's northeast which was among the worst affected areas, told Rai 3 television.



Two men use an inflatable dingy to get around in a flooded street in Olbia, northern Sardinia, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. A violent rainstorm that flooded entire parts of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia has led to the deaths of at least nine people. Bridges were felled by swollen rivers and water levels reached 3 metres (yards) in some places. (AP)


According to local media reports, one police officer was killed and three of his colleagues were injured when a bridge collapsed. In another incident, a woman and her daughter were drowned when their car was tipped on its side by the flood.

There was heavy rain across northern Italy as well as in the south with high winds and flooding in coastal areas, the Civil Protection Authority said.

 

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