Italy declares state of emergency in storm-hit regions

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 28, 2011 7:43 AM

ROME (Reuters) - Italy declared a state of emergency Friday in areas battered by torrential rainstorms this week that killed at least seven people.

Late Tuesday, storms lashed parts of the northwestern coastal regions of Liguria and Tuscany, bringing down bridges and houses. Widespread flooding and mudslides in villages in the picturesque Cinque Terre area cut electricity and blocked roads and railways.

Authorities in Liguria confirmed a seventh death Friday. Local prosecutors are investigating complaints that some of those deaths were caused by official negligence.

Rescue teams have struggled to reach some of the flooded areas and people in some of the towns in the popular tourist were evacuated by sea. The army has also been brought in to help in rescue efforts.

The government allocated 65 million euros ($91 million) to the area after declaring the state of emergency at a cabinet meeting Friday.

($1 = 0.707 Euros)

(Writing by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)