Italy: 36K Displaced By Worst Floods In A Century
On Saturday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni made an early departure from the G7 summit in Japan to deal with the worst flooding seen in the country in a century; at least 14 people have been left dead and more than 36K homeless.
- On Saturday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni made an early departure from the G7 summit in Japan to deal with the worst flooding seen in the country in a century; at least 14 people have been left dead and more than 36K homeless.1
- The northern and eastern regions of Emilia Romagna and Le Marche have been entirely submerged in water, with streets transformed into rivers after around six months' worth of rain fell on Italy in 48 hours.2
- The devastating flooding has so far caused over 305 landslides and damaged or closed over 500 roads in the affected areas. As the rain continued across the weekend, authorities extended the red weather alert on Sunday.3
- The Italian government is expected to hold an emergency cabinet meeting on Tuesday, where plans will be discussed to help tackle the crisis and aid the population's recovery from the disaster.4
- The government has already allocated €30M ($32M) to help cope with the immediate impact of the deluge, and is reportedly seeking additional funding from the European Union.5
- Meanwhile, Elon Musk's SpaceX and Italy's Unipol Gruppo have joined forces to facilitate rescue operations in the flood-hit areas, wherein hospitals and homes have been left without power, and internet and mobile connections.6
Sources: 1Guardian, 2POLITICO, 3Al Mayadeen English, 4US News & World Report, 5New York Times, and 6Reuters.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The Hindu. Northern Italy's fertile flat land is particularly vulnerable to flooding and is susceptible to landslides during heavy rains. However, as torrential rains usually hit Italy only once every 100 to 150 years, Italy's geographic vulnerability to climate disasters is tough for the administration to deal with, as it is not financially or politically justifiable to make the infrastructural changes needed to defend against this kind of flooding. Meloni's government is responding as effectively as possible to this emergency.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Politico. Italy has learned nothing from the last year's devastating flash floods or from the country's worst drought in seven decades. Despite the crescendo of extreme weather events, Italian policymakers are continuing to pretend that nothing is happening. The government must do more to future-proof Italy against catastrophic devastation with longer term investment, including through the allocation of the billions of dollars necessary to counter hydrogeological instability.