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Italy Just Experienced Its Worst Flooding in 100 Years

Italy experienced its worst flooding in 100 years on May 17, 2023. Six months' worth of rain fell in 36 hours, leaving 36,000 people homeless in the northern Emilia-Romagna region. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni returned early from the G7 summit in Japan to assess the damage and thank the 5,000 rescue workers and volunteers who had sprung into action.

So far, 14 people have been reported dead after 23 rivers burst their banks and water inundated 37 towns and cities. The flooding has caused billions of euros in damage and left thousands of farms underwater. The mayor of Ravenna said it was the worst disaster in a century.

Firefighters rescued a man and his dog and delivered generators to residents stranded without electricity. Authorities navigated streets by boat to reach people and used special machinery to pump out flood water.

While the causes of extreme rainfall are complex, climate change is a leading factor. Global warming is also driving worsening droughts in Italy.

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Climate and NatureClimate Change
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Gayle Markovitz

February 23, 2024

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