9 people from 2 families killed in Sicily flooding as Italy death toll rises to 29

Twelve people have been confirmed dead after severe flooding in Sicily, Italy, on Sunday, bringing the natio...

Posted: Nov 5, 2018 6:21 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2018 6:21 PM

Twelve people have been confirmed dead after severe flooding in Sicily, Italy, on Sunday, bringing the nationwide death toll from a week of extreme weather to 29.

Nine members of two families were among those killed, as they dined together in a house that was submerged by water from a nearby river that suddenly overflowed, according to the fire brigade, which said its divers had found the bodies.

Accidents, disasters and safety

Continents and regions

Europe

Floods and flooding

Italy

Natural disasters

Severe weather

Southern Europe

Venice

Weather

Deaths and fatalities

Society

Accidental fatalities

Accidents

Giuseppe Giordano, one of the survivors, told Sky TG24 the harrowing story of how he lost his teenage son, Federico, and one-year-old daughter, Rachele, in the incident.

Federico was trying to hold his sister above the deluge.

"I saw the windows had darkened. I took the car keys to try to leave and the window exploded, and then the wall unit fell and then I didn't see anything else ... maybe the light went out."

He said he found himself swallowing water and managed to get out to a tree to hold onto for more than two hours yelling for help.

Italy's civil protection agency said it was still looking for a doctor who had been on his way to work at a hospital Saturday night and was missing.

High winds and heavy rain have devastated parts of the country over the past week, causing the worst flooding in at least a decade in Venice, damages of more than 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion) in Veneto and landslides that have cut off villages, authorities said.

The situation in Sicily is "dramatic," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Sunday.

Conte will call a cabinet meeting to announce a state of emergency in affected regions, he said at a press conference in Palermo, Sicily.

Italy's civil protection agency continues to monitor the situation, issuing weather warnings via Twitter, while volunteers from the Italian Red Cross work to rescue people.

Several of last week's deaths were caused by falling trees as winds as strong as 190 kilometers per hour (118 mph) toppled acres of woodland, including the famous "Violin Forest" that provided wood for violin maker Antonio Stradivarius' instruments.

Two young people died south of Rome when a tree hit their car. Another was hit by a falling tree while walking in Naples.

Around 300,000 trees were flattened after winds swept through the Val d'Assa in the Asiago plateau, Roberto Ciambetti, president of the Veneto regional council, told CNN.

"Tens of thousands of tall trees were felled like toothpicks," he said.

Much of Venice was under water last week as strong winds drove the high tide to one of the highest levels ever recorded.

St. Mark's Square became a lake, and floodwater spilled across the ancient marble floors of St. Mark's Basilica.

"In a single day, the basilica aged 20 years, but perhaps this is an optimistic consideration," Carlo Alberto Tesserin, head of the board responsible for St. Mark's Basilica, said in a statement.

Floodwaters also covered several dozen square meters of the 1,000-year-old marble pavement in front of the alter of the Madonna Nicopeia, a 12th-century icon, and submerged the Baptistery and the Zen Chapel, Tesserin said.

Flood barrier project incomplete

This week's flooding was caused by a seasonal high tide and a strong low-pressure system in southern Europe that brought strong winds from the south and pushed water up the Adriatic Sea into Venice. This is the peak time of the year for seasonal flooding known as acqua alta, or high water, in the city.

Flooding at high tide has become much more common in Venice because of climate change -- a problem that will continue to worsen as seas rise because of increasing temperatures and melting ice sheets, according to CNN meteorologists.

Work to install innovative underwater flood barriers to protect Venice from serious flooding, known as the Moses Project, has been underway for years. However, it has not yet been completed, thanks in part to corruption and spiraling costs.

A spokesman for the civil protection agency in Venice told CNN that the Moses system could have mitigated the impact of salt water on the city's historic sites.

"Of course if the Moses project was completed the damages we are seeing now would not have happened," he said, "but the project was not completed because of the high cost."

The spokesman for the mayor's office called for the project to be completed.

"The Moses project is important to the Venetians," he said. "This infrastructure must be completed to avoid extraordinary waters, like what happened on Monday."

A spokeswoman for the New Venice Consortium, which is responsible for the Moses system, told CNN: "The work on the Moses began in 2003. At the moment it is 92-93% concluded."

Venice also has a system in place to monitor tides and warn of high water levels.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 581335

Reported Deaths: 7267
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1206301710
Ramsey50221865
Dakota44921441
Anoka40688432
Washington26275278
Stearns21864220
St. Louis17475302
Scott16941123
Wright15685135
Olmsted1308297
Sherburne1136784
Carver1029545
Clay806892
Rice7920104
Blue Earth736041
Crow Wing650687
Kandiyohi646681
Chisago579751
Otter Tail565877
Benton558897
Goodhue469972
Mower459432
Douglas458774
Winona447350
McLeod416558
Itasca416253
Morrison412660
Isanti407062
Nobles406348
Beltrami386258
Steele379115
Polk378567
Becker374049
Lyon356850
Carlton340152
Freeborn338929
Pine323321
Nicollet320243
Brown302740
Mille Lacs297252
Le Sueur284722
Todd277131
Cass264828
Meeker249638
Waseca234821
Martin227131
Roseau204519
Wabasha20293
Hubbard182941
Dodge18073
Renville177543
Redwood170636
Houston166915
Cottonwood161921
Fillmore153710
Pennington153219
Wadena152121
Chippewa151238
Faribault149419
Kanabec141824
Sibley140610
Aitkin132836
Watonwan12979
Rock126819
Jackson120911
Pipestone113626
Yellow Medicine113420
Pope10766
Murray10529
Swift103818
Stevens88011
Marshall87417
Clearwater85416
Koochiching80914
Lake80519
Wilkin79612
Lac qui Parle74822
Big Stone5924
Lincoln5723
Grant5638
Mahnomen5408
Norman5369
Unassigned51793
Kittson48222
Red Lake3947
Traverse3675
Lake of the Woods3173
Cook1550

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 364143

Reported Deaths: 5900
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57127619
Linn20675333
Scott19714239
Black Hawk15734307
Woodbury15078228
Johnson1438283
Dubuque13308207
Dallas1108797
Pottawattamie11021166
Story1052948
Warren571488
Clinton550792
Cerro Gordo534689
Sioux511674
Webster510892
Marshall480775
Muscatine472999
Des Moines450366
Wapello4278122
Buena Vista423940
Jasper412770
Plymouth399979
Lee371955
Marion360075
Jones296457
Henry290237
Carroll284352
Bremer282360
Crawford264140
Boone262334
Benton254955
Washington252250
Dickinson247343
Mahaska228850
Jackson220642
Clay214625
Kossuth214564
Tama208871
Delaware208040
Winneshiek196333
Page191921
Buchanan190331
Cedar188623
Hardin184443
Fayette184341
Wright183136
Harrison179073
Hamilton178949
Clayton168456
Butler163734
Mills161321
Madison159719
Floyd159442
Cherokee158338
Lyon157541
Poweshiek154533
Allamakee150251
Iowa147924
Hancock146534
Winnebago140631
Cass137654
Grundy136032
Calhoun135313
Emmet133040
Jefferson132135
Shelby130337
Sac129819
Appanoose127847
Louisa127849
Union127332
Mitchell125642
Chickasaw123515
Guthrie120629
Humboldt118726
Franklin116221
Palo Alto112123
Howard104122
Montgomery102437
Unassigned9990
Clarke99324
Keokuk95431
Monroe95028
Ida90234
Adair86032
Pocahontas85422
Monona82830
Davis81324
Osceola77716
Greene77310
Lucas76823
Worth7338
Taylor65612
Fremont6209
Decatur6059
Van Buren55618
Ringgold54424
Wayne53123
Audubon5009
Adams3374
Rochester
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 43°
Mason City
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 38°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 39°
Austin
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 40°
Charles City
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: °
More sunshine Thursday.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events