South of France at risk of deadly floods as 14 die and 36k evacuated in Italy

Flooding in northern Italy causes cancellation of Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Global warming in Italy has sparked a catastrophic downpour which has killed 14 and now experts are warning southern France may also be at risk of deadly flooding. Approximately 36,000 people have had to be evacuated from their homes in the northern Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.

The wealthy province has seen brutal flash floods, with mud rivers decimating towns. Following the devastation, Italian PM Giorgia Meloni cut short her G7 trip to Japan to visit the residents that bore the brunt of the deluge.

Climate scientists and meteorologists believe that areas of southern France are equally vulnerable to fatal flooding.

Meteorologist Guillaume Séchet said: “This is a scenario that is expected in a warming climate.” 

The scientist was asked if southern France would be able to withstand the heavy rains experienced in northern Italy, to which Mr Séchet said: “Probably not.”

Pointing the finger at decision-makers from previous decades, Mr Séchet added that “from the end of the Second World War to the end of the 1980s, we did a bit of a mess” and over-built in flood-prone areas leaving homes vulnerable to water damage.

In June 2010, nearly 400mm of rain fell in the Var region, creating flash floods that killed 23 people, he says

Despite the evident crisis in northern Italy, the climate scientist believes the general populace still isn’t fully aware of the existential threat they’re facing. He said: “We need to make progress on the alert level, by means of sirens or text messages. 

“There’s still a long way to go”.

Meanwhile British tourists have been advised to avoid certain areas in the Emilia-Romagna area of the country.

The UK Government warned: “Severe flooding is currently affecting the region of Emilia-Romagna, including Bologna, Forli-Cesena and Ravenna.

“It is advised to stay away from riverbanks and green areas affected by flooding. Traffic, including between Bologna and Rimini, is likely to be affected.”

Jonathan Frankham, general manager at World Nomads travel insurance, said: “For Brits travelling to or around the region impacted by floods, we’d strongly recommend keeping up to date with the FCDO advisories and be prepared to adjust your plans.

“That said, with the F1 now cancelled and many flights being subject to cancellation, it’s likely that some travel plans may be affected.”

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