Chaos amid extreme storms in Lombardy

Some of the destruction caused in Milan.

 LOMBARDY - - Trees have been uprooted and roofs blown off during strong storms in the region.

 Authorities have confirmed that a 16-year-old girl was killed by a tree at a scout camp in Brescia with messages on social media stating: “It felt like the Apocalypse.”

 In Milan, damage has been caused to the Trenord and Atm networks and cars have been crushed by trees. Famous landmarks, such as the Sforzesco Castle, have also been forced closed. 

 The girl killed by a tree was in a scout camp in Codegolo, Val Camonica. Moreover, a new hailstorm in Veneto has caused serious injuries to one individual, authorities report.

 "From a very first estimate, the damage to Milanese commercial activities is around two million euros.” This was stated by the secretary general of Confcommercio Lombardy, Marco Barbieri, painting a picture of the situation in the Lombard capital after the violent storm that hit the city on Monday evening. 

 The greatest damage, Barbieri explained, was to umbrellas and outdoor furniture. Flooding and damage also occurred to goods in warehouses. There were also problems for logistics and mobility (pick-ups and deliveries) due to closed roads and fallen trees.

 The Functional Risk Monitoring Centre of the Lombardy Region - reads a communiqué from the Municipality - has issued a yellow alert (ordinary risk) for thunderstorms and strong wind until Wednesday.

 The municipality therefore advises people not to stand under trees and scaffolding at construction sites or outdoors. It adds that it is important to secure objects and pots on balconies and all items that may be moved by the wind. 

 According to the Centre, the Civil Protection's Municipal Operations Centre remains active to monitor and coordinate any interventions.

 "Minister Musumeci's secretariat, contacted informally, has given us the readiness to report, and I believe there will be contact with the presidency in this sense. This was said by the Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomies, Roberto Calderoli, in the Senate Chamber, speaking after a request for a report on the bad weather.

 "A state of emergency has been requested by Lombardy, but other regions will also ask for it, I have spoken with the president of Veneto. Regional governments will carry out a reconnaissance with an initial quantification of the damage and then they will send the request to the national government, which will decide on the state of emergency,” Nello Musumeci, Minister for Civil Protection, told SkyTg24.

 "At the moment, with a very initial estimate which is certainly destined to grow, the damage caused by the bad weather in Lombardy in recent days exceeds 100 million euros. With President Fontana, by the end of today, we will ask the government to recognise the state of emergency,” declared the regional councillor for Security and Civil Protection, Romano La Russa, at the opening of the Regional Council meeting.

 Area C in Milan was suspended on Tuesday, Mayor Giuseppe Sala announced on Facebook. "We have decided to suspend Area C on Monday and Tuesday, but we urge people to limit their movements around the city. I ask that the gatekeepers of private apartment blocks intervene to clean the relevant sections of pavement, more than usual, also to avoid blockages in the drains," he wrote. 

 "I remind you that the parks are and will remain closed until we are certain that they will be usable in full safety. It is of great importance that tree-lined green areas and unfenced parks are also not visited in the coming days.”

 "In the coming hours we will also focus on the damage count. This is to bring forward the necessary claims and to be able to access the regional and state funds that will be made available for this calamity," he added.

 The president of the Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana, on Tuesday formalised to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, ministers and the head of the Civil Protection Department, Fabrizio Curcio, the request for recognition of the state of emergency of national importance for Lombardy. 

 In justifying the request, the governor explained that “in the territories concerned, the regional civil protection system structure is fully operational” for the necessary interventions to assist the population and remove the material that has invaded the roads, urban areas and involved public and private buildings. 

 With regard to the damage, President Fontana emphasised that "to date there is an initial estimate of more than 41.4 million euros, of which 24.7 for the public sector and 16.7 for the private sector, but reports of the events of the last few days and those in progress are still missing.”

 On Tuesday afternoon, eleven infant schools and three nurseries, where there were summer centres, were closed in Milan due to the damage caused by the bad weather on Monday night, which caused water infiltration. 

 For the same reason, the mayor explained, the Pac (Pavilion of Contemporary Art) and the Museum of Natural Science and the Planetarium, located inside the Montanelli Gardens, are also closed as a precautionary measure, as are all the city's parks.