Tuscany, Rome and Venice are on extreme weather alert after storms dumped a quarter of the Italy’s average annual rainfall in the area of just two days.

The past 48 hours have seen roads closed, school suspended and rural residents left stranded as record rainfall flooded rivers and triggered landslides.
The Civil Protection Department issued a maximum red alert for these regions –
Florence is on alert as the waters of the river Arno have risen to the highest levels in 20 years, reaching 4.8 m on Sunday 17 November. However, the river’s waters in Florence are not expected to exceed the critical 5.5-m level.
There is severe flooding across Tuscany, with more than 62 mm of rain falling in Florence over the last 24 hours, and gusts of wind last night reaching up to 76 km p/h.
Thunderstorms and strong gusts of wind are bringing the city of Rome to its knees, where hundreds of fire brigade operations have taken place on Sunday.
Many roads have been closed to traffic due to the fall of trees. The circulation (lines) of the Roman metro and some regional trains are slowed down.

The acqua alta in Venice came worryingly close last night to reach levels last seen during the flood of 1966, and waters are reportedly rising again. Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind whipped up waves in St. Mark’s Square.

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