Death toll rises with Emilia-Romagna flooding

Coast guard helicopter winches stranded citizens to safety

 BOLOGNA -- At least 13 people have died and thousands made homeless in the northern Emilia-Romagna region as the wave of bad weather that began Monday night continued Thursday, flooding 24 municipalities, authorities said. 

 Up to 200 millimeters of rain fell across the region in 24 hours, flooding 21 rivers and 22 streams. Over 250 landslides have occurred across 48 municipalities.

 One victim, a female, was swept 20 kilometers by the flood, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano in Cesena, the area that was flooded by the Savio river. Her body was found on the beach of Zadina on the north coast of Cesenatico. 

 Another victim was found dead in San Lazzaro di Savena in the Bologna area. He died after falling into a well, trying to drain the water that had accumulated on his property. 

 Evacuation orders are still taking place, the most recent in Ravenna. The mayor has issued another evacuation order for around 14,000 people, in addition to the 6,000 who have already evacuated. 

"There is fear of the flooding of the united rivers, the Ronco and the Montone, which could overflow," said the city's prefect, Castrese De Rosa, to AdnKronos. 

 De Rosa added that the city has made 200 rescues and more are to come as they "[work] to try and save all people.

 Stefano Bonaccini, president of the Emilia-Romagna region, said that the region's infrastructure is "almost wiped out," and that it has "been really put to the test, if not already to be rebuilt." 

 As the tragedy continues, displacing thousands of residents, many are reminding the public of the climate crisis' relation to the record-breaking flood. 

 Fridays for Future Italy, a student-run climate movement, pledged to mobilize throughout Italy on Friday "to say that this rain is a climate crisis." 

 "Every time there is a flood, it must be remembered that this is the other side of the coin of the water shortage," they wrote in a statement on Wednesday. "These humanitarian, economic, and environmental disasters caused by torrential rains will increasingly become the order of the day if we do not acknowledge our responsibilities and act on the cause: climate change. Time is running out."