Picture: Stuart Brock / EPA-EFE / Taken on November 2, 2023 – Fishing trawlers in the sea as waves crash against the harbour wall during Storm Ciaran in Folkestone, Kent, Britain, on Thursday November 2. The storm is causing severe disruption in the south of England with strong winds and rain. Flooding is expected in 54 areas, according to the Environment Agency, most of which are on the south coast of England. A French forecast service warned a new storm might bring strong rains and winds up to 130-140 km per hour over that country between Saturday and Sunday.
ROME – Shortly after storm Ciaran lashed Western Europe, the region now braces for yet another storm, Domingos.
As of Saturday, seven deaths were registered in Italy, where strong winds and record rains had battered the central Tuscany region in particular.
The Italian government on Friday declared a 12-month state of emergency for the region, which has registered the worst flooding so far, and allocated €5 million (US$5.3 million) to rescue and aid activities.
The state of emergency included the provinces of Florence, Livorno, Pisa, Pistoia, and Prato.
The death toll in Tuscany included two elderly people, aged 84 and 85, who died when their homes near the city of Prato were flooded, a couple who were found dead near the town of Vinci, and another person in the area of Livorno, according to state-owned Rai News 24.
Video circulating on social media showed cars being washed away along flooded streets in several parts of Tuscany after the passage of Ciaran.
“As of today, some areas remain inaccessible except by amphibious means,” regional governor Eugenio Giani told a press briefing after an emergency meeting with the Civic Protection agency.
Overall, the governor said the storm affected 10,000 to 12,000 people, mostly in the areas of Campi Bisenzio and Seano.
“About 20,000 people are also still without electricity, from 40,000 yesterday,” Giani added, explaining that some power stations were under water, which made it difficult to restore utility services.
He put the preliminary estimate of damages in the region at some €300 million (US$322 million).
After a 69-year-old man was found dead near Campi Bisenzio in the morning, at least one person in Tuscany and one off-duty firefighter in the northern Veneto region remained missing as of Saturday, according to local authorities.
Earlier this week, storm Ciaran had already caused at least seven deaths across France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain, and disrupted power and transport networks.
At least one person died in Albania on Friday, according to local reports citing police.
Videos circulating on social media showed flooded streets in the capital city, Tirana, and Albanian emergency services warned heavy rains would continue through Saturday and Sunday.
The cities of Shkodra, Lezha, Elbasan, and Korca were put on red alert for possible flooding, Euronews Albania channel reported.
Ciaran also brought about huge waves hitting the Adriatic coastal cities of other Balkan states and disrupted ferry lines connecting Croatian islands to the mainland.
In France, at least 260,000 households were reportedly out of electricity due to flooding and winds, especially in Normandy and Brittany, according to local media. Some railways and roads remain closed as the country waits for Domingos to arrive.
French forecast service warned the new storm might bring strong rains and winds up to 130-140 km per hour over the country between Saturday and Sunday, and hit especially the northwestern regions, some of which were put on orange alert (medium risk). – Xinhua