1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Italy: Fatal floods hit central Marche region

September 16, 2022

Floods caused by storms on the Adriatic coast have left at least ten people dead with several more still missing. Italy's worst drought in decades over the summer made flooding more likely in heavy rains.

Rescue workers in Marche, Italy
Marche President Francesco Acquaroli said on Facebook that he was following 'the development of the very serious meteorological crisis that hit our region'Image: Vigili del Fuoco/REUTERS

At least ten people were killed after torrential overnight rains caused flooding in Italy's Marche region on Friday. Rescuers were looking for four people who were missing, including a mother and her two children.

"It was like an earthquake," Ludovico Caverni, the mayor of the town of Serra Sant'Abbondio, told RAI state radio.

Around 400 millimetres (15.7 inches) of rain fell within two to three hours, inundating the streets of several towns around the region's capital Ancona on the Adriatic coast.

According to the regional government, the deluge was much stronger than predicted.

"We were given a normal alert for rain, but nobody had expected anything like this," said Stefano Aguzzi, head of civil protection at Marche's regional government.

Footage released by the emergency services showed rescuers on rafts trying to evacuate people in the seaside town of Senigallia, while others attempted to clear an underpass of debris.

Dozens of survivors scrambled onto rooftops or up trees to await rescue.

The mayor of the town of Barbara said that at least 1,300 of his residents were without drinking water, and that phone service was spotty.

The effect of climate change on weather patterns

Italy experienced a severe drought this summer, as climate change wrecks havoc on weather patterns. Flooding is more likely to occur in drought-hit areas because the ground is too dry to absorb the water quickly.

The head of the national civil protection agency Fabrizio Curcio was heading to Ancona to assess the damage, while party chiefs campaigning for Italy's Septempter 25 election expressed their solidarity.

Enrico Letta, leader of the center-left Democratic Party said it would suspend campaigning in Marche "in a sign of mourning" and in order to allow its local activists to fully participate in efforts to help the flood-hit communities.

es/rt (Reuters, dpa)