Sardinia is on extreme weather alert after storms dumped a quarter of the Italian island’s average annual rainfall in the space 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 in 3 regions –
Campidano di Oristano and Tirso near the central-west and Gallura in the north-east – until midnight on Thursday, while the rest of the island remains on orange alert.
Parts of Sardinia have had more than four times the rainfall they would usually expect in May in the first two days of the month alone, according to figures from regional environmental protection agency Arpas.
The downpours left many areas flooded, especially in the north and west of the island, where landslides were also reported.
Several mayors ordered schools and public parks closed for safety, and stretches of the island’s state highways were blocked off for hours at a time. Thankfully no fatal incidents have been reported, unlike 2013 when flash floods killed 18 people.