Italy Flooding Blamed for 18 Deaths

By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
November 20, 2013; 7:39 AM ET
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Persistent rain over southern Europe this past week has the storm, locally knows as cyclone Cleopatra, taking lives in Sardinia.

According to BBC News, at least 18 people, including 4 children, have been killed on the Italian island of Sardinia due to the heavy rains. Even more people are still missing.

The situation caused Prime Minister Enrico Letta to declare a state of emergency.

A man walks along a damaged a day after torrential rainstorms battered Sardinia, in Olbia, Italy, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. Olbia Mayor Gianni Giovannelli said the city had been destroyed by the "apocalyptic" storm, with bridges felled and water levels reaching 3 m (10 feet) in some places. He described the ferocity of the storm's rains as a "water bomb." (AP Photo)

The island of Sardinia is settled in the Mediterranean Sea, and the second largest island there, but it has been no match for the storm. Sardinia has been hit by rounds of heavy rain since early last weekend, but some of the heaviest rain came Monday into Tuesday. Some of the highest rainfall totals include 38.4 mm (1.51 inches) in Capo Frasca and Capo Caccia that totaled 35 mm (1.38 inches) since Sunday.

Vigna Di Valle near Rome has also had substantial rain with 65.2 mm (2.57 inches) since Sunday.

This rain caused overflown rivers, leading to the collapse of bridges, roads being washed away and feet of water in homes and in the streets.

Rescuers work in a flooded street in the small town of Uras, Sardinia, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. Bridges were felled by swollen rivers and water levels reached 3 m (yards) in some places. (AP Photo/Alessandra Chergia)

Detailed Forecast for Cagliari
Interactive Radar for Sardinia
A Glance at the Weather Across Italy

Although Cleopatra is dissipating and moving out of the area, more unsettled weather is expected through the weekend as another low from the North Sea dips down into southern Europe.

This rain is expected over most of Italy, including Sardinia, further hindering the recovery process.


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