Deadly flash floods caused by severe thunderstorms lashed parts of Sicily, Italy, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, resulting in massive disruption.

Palermo City’s astronomical observatory recorded 74 mm of rain in just a few hours, breaking the previous wettest July day record set 85 years ago.​ Palermo mayor described the downpour as the worst since 1970.

Hundreds of motorists were forced to abandon their cars as torrential rains inundated tunnels. 2 people went missing after their car was swept away by floodwaters. 9 people sustained injuries and 2 children were treated for hypothermia.


According to a statement by Palermo mayor Leoluca Orlando, over 1 m (3.3 feet) of rain fell in less than two hours. “It is the most violent rain in the history of the city since 1970, equal to what we receive in a year.”

While his rainfall data is exaggerated — as Palermo has an annual rainfall average of 615 mm — in terms of how violent the rain was, Orlando was spot on since the city records only about 5 mm (0.2 inches) of rain in the entire month of July.

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