Violent storms have been lashing the South Italian provinces of Lucania and Calabria since November 23, killing at least 15 people and causing floods and landslides.
Violent storms have been lashing the South Italian provinces of Lucania and Calabria since November 23, killing at least 15 people and causing floods and landslides. Damage is estimated at about GBP1 million.
Thousands are homeless in the afflicted regions, where helicopters and sea planes were used to fly marooned villagers out to safety. 'Jeeps' rescued a party of 60 in the Cosenza area, among them the Yugoslav Minister of Agriculture.
Cosenza itself has been hit more severly than during the disastrous storms of 1902. After rainfall of ten inches, the river Crati burst its banks, inundating wide stretches of farmland, uprooting trees and submerging the lower floors of many homes.
At Oliveri church bells were rung to warn villagers that the river Says was about to leave its course. When the flood rushed into the village, burying low-lying land under more than eight feet of water, everyone had fled, except 120 children who were trapped in a school. They were later brought out on trucks by Carabinieri.
Damage was most extensive at Maida, a township of 6,000, where collapsing house fronts and tons of mud swept down from the mountains are blocking the streets.
General communications in Southern Italy have been disrupted, making it extremely difficult for the authorities to form a complete picture of the catastrophe. The Italian Ministry of the Interior is taking emergency measures to bring speedy relief to the disaster areas in Italy's economic "black spot".