Italy prepares for cyclone

Status: 10/27/2021 12:40 p.m.

Floods, landslides and one fatality: Severe storms have already caused enormous damage in Sicily. And now the fear of a violent hurricane is growing in Italy.

By Elisabeth Pongratz, ARD-Studio Rome

It did not rain much overnight in the Sicilian port city of Catania, but those responsible are preparing for worse weather. There is great fear of a so-called Medicane, a hurricane in the Mediterranean region. The head of the Italian civil defense, Fabrizio Curcio, got an idea of ​​the situation on site in the morning. He called on citizens to be vigilant that the area might face difficult times.

Elisabeth Pongratz
ARD-Studio Rom

The storm is forming between Sicily and Malta, which could take on tropical features from tomorrow. Severe storms hit Sicily yesterday, leading to numerous floods. In Catania, a man died when he apparently got stuck with his car, got out and was then swept away by the masses of water. The rescue workers found him lifeless under his car.

Power outage, shops closed

Almost 200 emergency calls were received by the local fire department, mainly because of flooded houses and basements and to clear obstacles from the street. The rescuers also repeatedly helped motorists who were trapped with their cars on roads that had suddenly turned into raging rivers because of the floods.

There were landslides, and in some cases the power went out. For security reasons, the mayor of Catania closed most of the shops. In the morning, the Italian President Sergio Mattarella telephoned the mayor, expressing the solidarity and closeness of the Italian people to the city of Catania.

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