Rome shuts down as ‘exceptional’ rains descend

2014-11-06 16:17

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Rome - Rome's landmark monuments, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum were closed on Thursday along with all schools, as authorities were expecting major disruptions from "exceptional" rainstorms.

Weather-related disasters such as floorings and landslides are frequent in Italy. Experts say that widespread breaches of building regulations and land planning rules, as well as scarce investment in nature conservation, are partly to blame.

Following early morning rains, four metro stations were closed and several roads were already under water in the Italian capital. Authorities were expecting weather conditions to worsen significantly by afternoon.

"I would like to urge all people who do not have pressing needs to limit the use of their cars. It is clear that disruptions or even accidents could happen", Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

A government official who ordered the closure of schools, Prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro, spoke Wednesday of "a situation that should prove exceptional, at least according to forecasts that have no precedent."

Elsewhere in Italy, moderately high tides were flooding parts of Venice, a road was blocked by a landslide in Liguria, in the north-west, and the Italy-Austria Brenner Pass was heavily congested because of snowfall.

In the Tuscan city of Carrara, where 450 people had to be evacuated Wednesday after a river broke its banks, the situation was gradually getting back to normal, authorities said.

Read more on:    italy  |  weather

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