Floods in Italy: Italy's northern Emilia-Romagna region was hit hard by heavy rains that caused flooding, resulting in at least nine deaths and the submergence of entire neighbourhoods and farmland. The situation was severe enough to prompt the cancellation of the Imola Grand Prix scheduled for the weekend.
As a precautionary measure, the paddock at the track was evacuated earlier due to concerns about flooding.
Some of the worst-affected areas received about 20 inches of rain in 36 hours, and nearly two dozen rivers have already overflowed.
According to Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci, certain regions experienced rainfall equivalent to half of their typical annual precipitation within a mere 36-hour period.
This resulted in rivers overflowing their banks, leading to the inundation of towns and the submersion of vast agricultural areas spanning thousands of acres.
announced in a statement that it had no choice but to cancel the race due to the enormity of the devastation and the ongoing rescue efforts.
The decision was made based on the impossibility of ensuring the safety of fans, teams, and personnel during .
Considering the challenging circumstances faced by the towns and cities in the region, it was deemed both the appropriate and responsible course of action to cancel the event.
Stefano Bonaccini, the president of the Emilia-Romagna region, expressed to reporters that the current events unfolding are of an unprecedented and catastrophic nature.
Significant quantities of rain have descended upon land that has lost its capacity to absorb such excessive precipitation.
Ravenna, a renowned coastal city on the Adriatic known for its early Christian heritage sites, suffered severe consequences.
A representative from the local interior ministry stated that approximately 14,000 individuals would need to be promptly evacuated from the region.
Officials reported that flooding had impacted 37 towns and communities, with approximately 120 landslides recorded.
The collapse of at least one bridge, located near Bologna, occurred, while several roads were compromised by the flooding, and numerous railway services were suspended.
According to Bonaccini, nine bodies have been recovered from different areas. Irene Priolo, the vice president of the region, informed reporters that although the rainfall was subsiding, the water levels in rivers were still increasing.
Civil Protection Minister Musumeci announced his intention to request 20 million euros ($22 million) from the cabinet during their upcoming meeting on May 23.
The funds would be allocated to support the affected area as part of relief measures.
During the emergency, tax and mortgage payments would be halted in flood-affected areas, according to government officials.