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Floods force hundreds from homes in northern Italy

Jan. 20, 2014 at 12:35 PM   |   Comments

ROME, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Hundreds of people have been evacuated in northern Italy after heavy rains flooded homes and swept away at least two people, emergency officials said Monday.

The regions around Bologna, Genoa and Florence have experienced widespread flooding, with the city of Modena, in the Emilia-Romagna region, particularly affected, ANSA reported.

Some 600 people have been forced from their homes there, with evacuees being housed in shelters, hotels and hospitals. Workers used large boulders late Sunday to reinforce the banks of the nearby Secchia river. Flooding has closed local roads and bridges in the area.

Evacuations were still under way Monday in Bastiglia, in the same region, where homes were surrounded by water from overflowing rivers.

Two people have died assisting others to escape the flooding. One man in the Bastiglia area disappeared after falling out of his dinghy while helping others evacuate.

A doctor was swept away in Bogliasco, near Genoa, when he and a man whose son he had just treated became caught in a current from a river. The man, who was accompanying the doctor back to his home, was hospitalized after being rescued by a passerby.

Bogliasco Mayor Luca Pastorino described the rains that have flooded the area as "exceptional."

In Tuscany, about 20 families in the Lucca area were forced to spend the night away from their homes.

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