Two dead in Italy storms


Rome (AFP)

Heavy rains that pounded Italy over the past three days have left at least two people dead and two others are reported missing, Italian media said Saturday.

A 73-year-old fisherman died near Genoa in northern Italy while in the neighbouring Piemont region rescuers on Saturday found the body of a 70-year-old man who had gone to look for his horses and had been missing since Friday.

Two elderly men were also reported missing in the south on the island of Sicily. One of them is a farmer in his sixties in the Agrigente region, where the local union has warned that the storms could lead to the loss of half of the citrus crop.

While the rains have stopped in most of the country, authorities maintained the maximum red alert on Saturday in the southern Calabria region and in parts of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna in the north.

In the regions most affected by the storms, several hundred people had to be evacuated from their homes and many roads, schools and businesses were closed across northwestern Piedmont and Liguria as the River Po and its tributaries burst their banks in numerous places.