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Tornadoes, thunderstorms hit northern Italy, causing strong damage

English.news.cn   2014-08-20 01:07:07

MILAN, Italy, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Two tornadoes and torrential rainfall on Tuesday caused strong damage and disrupted traffic in Italy, which has been hit by an extraordinary wave of bad weather this summer, local reports said.

Five flights to the airport of Genoa, the capital city of Liguria region in northern Italy, were rerouted to Pisa, Turin and Milan, while a flight from Genoa to London was delayed because of heavy winds and low visibility.

A stretch of railway and a highway in the same region were temporarily shut down, while a tornado ripped roofs off houses and floods caused strong damage in the coastal town of Arenzano.

"The civil protection assistance interventions were immediate, so that fortunately there have not been injured so far," the mayor of Arenzano Maria Luisa Biorci told Rai state television.

Another tornado reportedly passed not far from the Costa Concordia, the huge sunken cruise liner that was towed to the port of Genoa last month to be dismantled and scrapped.

Continuous torrential rains poured down on several northern cities, including business capital Milan, where a river overflew its banks.

The extraordinary wave of bad weather which has hit Italy during the summer has heavily impacted the tourist season, with customer figures in beach establishments falling by up to 70 percent compared to last year, according to recent estimates of the sector's association.

Experts have said that hydro-geological risk is high in more than 80 percent of the country's municipalities, with over five million citizens living or working in places subject to floods and landslides, as a result of climate change and other factors.

Editor: yan
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