Two people have died during violent storms in the north which flooded towns and destroyed a bridge, the Italian fire service said on Tuesday.

One of those killed was a taxi driver whose car was swept away after a river burst its banks in the Serravalle area of Alessandria. Another, an 81-year-old pensioner, reportedly died in a car accident in torrential rain near Turin.
The extreme weather has caused major damage for rail and road traffic. Schools are also closed in much of Liguria and Piedmont, and the Piedmont region has requesed a state of emergency be declared in the badly-hit province of Alessandria.
Over 100 people were evacuated across the Alessandria province, while firefighters carried out 900 operations across the north from Milan to Genoa, as rising waters surged across roads and railways.
The taxi was swept away in the town of Capriate d’Orba, where a bridge had also given way as the river burst its banks. A passenger managed to escape the vehicle and survived by clinging to a tree, media reported. Two men, aged 61 and 84, were also reported missing in another part of the storm-hit region.
The Po river rose by over 3.5 metres over a 24-hour period. Lake Maggiore was also nearing a historic level. As much as 253mm of rain has fallen in some parts of the region over the past twelve hours, local authorities said.

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