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Sixth death feared as storms wreak road, rail havoc in Italy

Torrential rain closed road and rail links along the Italian Riviera on Saturday as storms that have killed five people this week returned to batter the north of the country.



Rome: Torrential rain closed road and rail links along the Italian Riviera on Saturday as storms that have killed five people this week returned to batter the north of the country.

The unusually extreme weather was feared to have claimed another victim when a car was swept off the road by a torrent of water at Mignangeo near Genoa, the main city in a coastal area known for its usually benign year-round climate.

Genoa mayor Marco Doria urged residents not to use their cars as workers battled to make roads around the city safe for use after 139 millimetres (five and a half inches) of rain fell on the area in a matter of hours.

"The situation is very difficult, very serious," Doria said. "The call is to stay at home. That is not to be alarmist, it is prudent."

Drivers were advised to avoid both the A10 motorway that runs from the French border along the coast to Genoa and the A7, which links Genoa with Milan.

Rail services along the coast were also disrupted and there were numerous delays and cancellations of flights in and out of Genoa airport, including a private one due to transport the Albania football squad to the city for a match with Italy on Tuesday.

Floods and landslides earlier this week caused damage estimated at more than 100 million euros ($125 million), as well as five deaths, some of which have been blamed on poor infrastructure.

A total of nine people have died in weather-related accidents in northern Italy in the last month.

From Zee News

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