Severe flooding in northeastern Italy has caused at least nine deaths and resulted in evacuations and cancellations, including next weekend’s Grand Prix race originally scheduled in Emilia Romagna. Record-breaking rainfall of up to 20 inches in under two days led to approximately 13,000 evacuations as swollen rivers overflowed in Ravenna, Bologna, Faenza, and surrounding regions. As mudslides and floods result in at least nine fatalities and countless missing persons, the Italian Coast Guard has been working in coordination with other first responders. Rescue efforts have been conducted by aircraft and small boats, both of which have been utilized in evacuations.
Although it is impossible to attribute an individual storm to climate change, Italy’s 2022 weather was the hottest on record, and fluctuating temperatures have led to severe droughts and unexpected rainfall. The Marche region was affected by excessive flooding last September, where twelve fatalities were recorded and millions of euros in damage occurred due to increased water masses and landslides. In Emilia Romagna, 2023’s massive storm has already been deemed the worst flooding on record. Despite several green energy initiatives proposed by parliament and the Italian Prime Minister, climate change remains a critical component of Italy’s governmental efforts, especially when directly affecting citizens’ safety.