Officials in the region of Tuscany, Italy, have declared a state of emergency after torrential rain of around 200 mm in 4 hours triggered severe flooding which has left at least 3 people dead and several missing.
In a statement the governor of Tuscany Eugenio Giani said the situation is extremely serious and urged residents to stay indoors.
“We had never recorded so much rain in so few minutes. What happened tonight in Tuscany has a clear name: climate change,” Tuscany governor Eugenio Giani said.
The governor confirmed at least 3 people have lost their lives as a result of flooding and landslides in the region.
“Unfortunately there are two dead, one in the municipality of Montemurlo (Province of Prato) and the other in the municipality of Rosignano (Province of Livorno),” the governor said.
Search and rescue teams in the area were looking for 2 victims reported missing in Lamporecchio in the Province of Pistoia. Civil Protection in the city of Florence reported 3 people were missing. Local police reported one person was missing in Campi Bisenzio in Prato Province.
Emergency workers carried out over one thousand interventions due to bad weather overnight 02 to 03 November, in particular in Campi Bisenzio, Montemurlo, Carmignano and Prato in Prato Province; Quarrata in the Province of Pistoia; Cerreto Guidi in the Metropolitan City of Florence; and numerous locations in the provinces of Pisa and Livorno.
Teams from the National Civil Protection have been deployed to the area and were using helicopters, boats and amphibious vehicles to rescue flood victims and locate those reported missing. Italy’s fire service Vigili del Fuoco said 400 firefighters were working in affected areas, including specialist high water rescue teams and divers.
Around 30 families were evacuated from flooded areas of Calcinaia and 6 families were evacuated in San Miniato. A hospital building was flooded in Prato.
A regional train line was suspended and around 150 passengers were evacuated and given temporary accommodation at a municipal building of Vaiano.
The torrential rain triggered multiple landslides and caused several water bodies to break their banks, including the Furba stream in Carmignano, the Bagnolo stream in Montemurlo and the Bisenzio River in Santa Maria a Campi. Swollen tributaries of Ombrone River flooded areas of Pistoia, Agliana, Quarrata and Serravalle Pistoiese in the Pistoia Province.
According to figures from the government of Tuscany, several areas of the region recorded over 200 mm of rain in a 24 hour period to 03 November including:
As the region’s governor explained, much of the rain fell in a short period of time. For example, the weather station at Pontedera in the province of Pisa recorded 198.6 mm in a 4-hour period from 16:00 to 20:00 on 02 November 2023.