Rome: Weather alert as downpour forecast

Rome last October

ROME - The Mayor encouraged Romans to avoid “unnecessary journeys” today as heavy rains are forecast over the city and the central regions of Italy.

Gianni Alemanno, Mayor of Rome, decided against closing schools but encouraged “great caution” as up to 100mm of rain are forecast in just 12 hours. The worst is due from early evening onwards, with downpours and strong gusts of wind raining down on Rome on Monday night.

A spokesperson for civil protection in Rome announced that the capital is in a “state of pre-alert” and assures that all possible dispositions have been put into place to insure that “critical situations are avoided”.

This morning as the forecast was updated the alert was re-evaluated, and Alemanno reassured Romans that though the state of alert remained, they “shouldn’t worry”.

The weather warning brings to mind the downpour on Romewhich happened in October 2011, as strong rains brought the capital almost to a standstill, closing metro stations and blocking buses as routes were submerged. At least one man died, drowned in the cellar of his house.

Romans have been taking the news with humour, as mentions of Noah’s Ark and canoes spread across social networks.

One Twitter user, using the nickname “God”, posted: “‘Civil Protection in alert as extreme conditions arrive in North and Central Italy.’ It’s ok everyone, I’ve let Noah know on Whatsapp”