News24

Six killed as Italian port city floods

2011-11-04 21:07

Rome - Six people were killed on Friday when the Italian port city of Genoa was hit by flash floods during heavy rainfall, including one woman who was apparently crushed by cars being swept away by the water.

"There have been six deaths," said the local prefect, Francesco Musolino.

Hundreds of shops were flooded and emergency officials urged residents to move to high ground and upper floors as waters rose and firefighters used rubber dinghies and divers to evacuate people, Italian media reported.

Motorways in the area were also closed off and flights re-routed.

"People should avoid bridges and streams and not sleep on first floors or in areas that are easily flooded," said Renata Briano, a local emergency official.

Briano said residents of the city should "stay safe and head for high ground if in danger" as well as avoid using cars unless absolutely necessary.

The head of the local Liguria region, Claudio Burlando, warned the situation was "critical", adding: "Moving around is really dangerous."