Flooding in Italy - "the climate has gone crazy"

Flooding in Italy - "the climate has gone crazy"
Flooding in Italy - "the climate has gone crazy"

Flooding in Italy: Dozens of people rescued after landslides and heavy rain fell in cities around Lake Como, a popular tourist destination

More than 60 people have been rescued by landslides and floods that hit towns around Lake Como as a result of extreme weather that swept northern Italy.

Firefighters fought the rubble to rescue dozens of people trapped in their homes when storms hit the scenic lake, popular with tourists.

An elderly woman trapped in her home was rescued, as well as a disabled person and a nurse trapped in a landslide.

The deaths and injuries were not reported.

About 50 residents were trapped in their homes when a landslide caused a gas leak in the worst-hit town of Brianno, located on the lake's western shore.

Further south, in Cernobbio, firefighters evacuated an apartment building that was in danger of flooding.

Agricultural lobbying group Coldiretti claims extreme weather conditions have intensified in recent years, citing more frequent, sudden and severe storms, as well as short and intense rains and rapid transitions from sunny skies to storms.

“We are facing the impacts of climate change in Italy, with a trend towards tropicalization and an increase in extreme events,” the group said.

The group estimates that agricultural production, buildings and infrastructure have suffered damage of € 14 billion (£ 12 billion) over the past decade due to climate change-related events such as floods and landslides.

Extreme weather on Lake Como came just a day after tennis ball-sized hail damaged about 100 cars and disrupted traffic on a main road near Bologna in northern Italy.

Hail is a common sight in the summer in the Italian Po Valley. But the strength and frequency of the hail this year made the phenomenon "unusual," according to meteorologist Luca Lombroso.

"The size of the hailstones has also changed, increasing significantly in recent years, with real blocks of ice falling from the sky - even more tennis balls."

Hail can wipe out entire fields or orchards of vegetables and fruits, and Coldiretti attributes a 40% drop in peaches and apricots and a 50% drop in nectarines to "this crazy climate."

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