Four dead as second storm front batters Italy

Published: November 02, 2018 14:45:20 | Updated: November 04, 2018 16:23:50

Four people died Thursday in the second of two storm fronts that battered Italy with torrential rains and gale-force winds beginning at the weekend, local media reported.

An elderly couple was crushed to death in their car by a falling tree in the northern Val D'Aosta region, while 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, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The adverse weather front, which Civil Protection Department chief Angelo Borrelli described in a tweet as "the perfect storm", lashed the country from north to south, causing floods, landslides, tornadoes, black-outs, and tsunami-like sea waves that swept through coastal communities, claiming 12 lives between Monday and Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

A 13th person who went missing after he went sailing on Sunday in heavy seas off the southern Calabria region is now presumed dead.

Additionally on Sunday, four men died in a mudslide due to torrential rains while working on sewage pipes.

"Thousands of trees felled by the wind," the national firefighters corps tweeted Thursday along with helicopter footage taken in Italy's northeastern regions, calling the scene "a forest disaster combined with landslides, impassable roads, and damage to homes from wind and water."

Collapsed bridges, roads, sea walls, electrical poles, wind turbines, uprooted trees, and severely damaged homes and businesses were reported throughout the country due to the storm that lasted through Tuesday night, then resumed Wednesday night after a one-day hiatus, according to RAI News 24 public broadcaster.

The Civil Protection Department on Thursday issued red and orange weather alerts meaning possible loss of life and damage to infrastructure in many parts of the country for Friday.

People should expect downpours, electrical storms and high winds and be alert for possible floods and landslides, the Civil Protection Department said.

Thursday was also the beginning of a four-day holiday period in which 7.3 million Italians were due to travel, 88 per cent of them to locations within the country, according to Federalberghi hotels and tourism association.

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