At least nine dead and 20,000 homeless in Italy’s worst flooding in 100 years

Older and disabled people were trapped in their homes as rescuers worked under pounding rain throughout the night to save people in the most catastrophic flooding to affect Italy in 100 years.

The floods in the northern Emilia-Romagna region have claimed nine lives, with many people still reported missing as of Thursday morning. An estimated 20,000 have been left homeless in a disaster that caused 23 rivers to burst their banks and 280 landslides, engulfing 41 cities and towns.

Among the dead were an elderly couple trapped inside their home in Cava, a hamlet in the province of Forlì-Cesena. “We heard their cries for help,” a neighbour told Il Messaggero. “We tried to get them out, but it was useless.”

An 80-year-old man drowned in his cellar after going to retrieve belongings, and a couple, identified as Sauro Manuzzi and Marinella Maraldi, who owned a company that produces herbs, were hit by the floods in the field opposite their home. The body of Maraldi, 70, was swept 12…

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This article was written by Angela Giuffrida in Rome and originally published on