Genoa battered by flash floods, 6 die

AP News
Posted: Nov 04, 2011 4:46 PM
Genoa battered by flash floods, 6 die

Torrential rains lashed Genoa and Italy's western coastline again Friday, triggering flash floods that killed at least six people as raging water uprooted trees and swept cars and furniture through the streets.

Flights were canceled or delayed and Saturday's soccer match against Inter Milan was postponed as the Marassi neighborhood around Genoa's stadium has been among the hardest hit areas of the city.

Luca Cari, spokesman for Genoa's fire department, told Italy's Sky TG24 that six people were confirmed dead and one person was missing. Two of the dead were reported to be children.

As two rivers broke their banks, authorities urged residents to move to the upper floors of buildings and warned that the worst could still come with rains forecast at least through Saturday.

"Oh God, it's a disaster, it's a disaster!" wailed one woman whose video of recycling bins, motorcycles and cars being swept along city streets was shown on RAI state television. "Oh God, it's a person," she said, zeroing in on an apparent corpse floating in the cappuccino-colored rivers of mud.

At least 10 people died in floods that swept the sea coast near Genoa on Oct. 28. The Cinque Terre, a top tourist attraction, has been digging out the mud ever since.

Much of northern Italy was hit by heavy rains Friday, and flooding was also reported in Venice.

In a sign of the seriousness of the problem, Premier Silvio Berlusconi gave Italy's civil protection chief extra authority to take whatever measures were necessary to provide assistance to affected residents.