ROME (AP) — Officials in northern Italy warned residents to get to higher ground Wednesday amid fears that rain-swollen rivers would again burst their banks, after flooding killed at least three people and forced the evacuation of some 5,000.
The mayor of the city of Cesena, Enzo Lattuca, posted a video early Wednesday on Facebook to warn that continued heavy rains in the Emilia-Romagna region could again flood the Savio river and smaller tributaries. He urged residents to move to upper floors of their homes and avoid riverbanks, and announced the closure to traffic of some bridges and streets after heavy flooding sent rivers of mud sloshing through town.
“The situation could again become critical,” he said. “We cannot in any way lower our guard.”
Civil Protection Minister Nello Musemeci confirmed three people had been killed and some 5,000 people evacuated.
The deputy chief of the agency, Titti Postiglione, said the rescue operations for those needing emergency evacuations were particularly difficult given so many roads and routes were flooded. Speaking on Sky TG24, she noted that the affected flood zone covered a broad swath of four provinces that, until the heavy rains, had been parched by a prolonged drought.
Premier Giorgia Meloni said the government was monitoring the situation and “is ready to intervene with necessary help.”
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