Severe weather keeps beating Italy, as local train derails in northern region

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-18 23:45:58|Editor: yan
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ROME, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Severe weather kept battering Italy on Monday, with a red alert issued for at least three regions, and thousands still left without power across the country.

A landslide in Puster Valley in south Tyrol, northeast Bolzano province, caused a local train traveling from Fortezza to Brunico to derail at around 6 a.m. local time, local authorities said on social media.

No person was injured, but the railway was cut, and the road leading to the Puster Valley where the incident occurred remained closed up to midday.

Some 2,300 households (from some 11,000 across the weekend) were cut out of power in south Tyrol, which saw intense snowfall in latest days, according to local media citing the local civil protection.

A pre-alert for high hydro-geological risk due to severe weather was issued by the (civil protection) Provincial Operations Center, and civil protection provincial councilor Arnold Schuler in a statement urged people to "remain in open areas as much as possible."

Meanwhile, the national Civil Protection agency kept a red weather alert (maximum risk) for central Tuscany and Emilia Romagna regions and for some areas of northeast Friuli Venezia Giulia.

An orange alert (medium risk) was issued for the rest of Friuli Venezia Giulia, and northern Veneto region.

In Tuscany, some municipalities ordered schools to remain closed for precautionary reasons, while the river Arno was kept under monitoring after reaching worrying levels on Sunday.

Since 4 a.m. local time on Monday, the river and its tributaries dropped below the first warning level in some areas, while remaining higher in other parts of the region.

The river Ombrone (the second largest in Tuscany) also reduced its levels, prompting local authorities to withdraw a previous evacuation order for 2,000 residents in the Grosseto province.

Considering the extensive disruption caused by the severe weather in latest days, however, Tuscan governor Enrico Rossi proclaimed a regional state of emergency.

Overall, the Fire Department said on Twitter it has carried out 8,000 rescue operations across the country since last Tuesday, and some 450 of them in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna in the last 36 hours only.

The situation was slowly becoming less alarming in Venice, after the city suffered three of the worst floods seen in 50 years since last week.

Schools reopened, and Venice's Tide Forecast and Monitoring Center expected a maximum tide of 95 centimeters in the day. Overall, the emergency caused two victims, the closure of Saint Mark's Square and the flooding of the iconic Saint Mark's basilica.

A state of emergency for Venice was approved by the central government on Nov. 14, with an initial allocation of 20 million euros (22 million U.S. dollars) for the first post-emergency intervention.