26 October 2011

Floods and landslides in Italy yesterday

Posted by Dave Petley

Summary: Italy suffered very heavy rainfall yesterday, triggering landslides and floods.  One landslide hit a truck in La Spezia.

Yesterday, the La Spezia and Tuscany areas of Italy suffered very heavy rainfall, triggering widespread floods and landslides.  La Repubblica has some interesting video footage of the outcome – unfortunately so far the toll is reported to be five fatalities with a further eight people missing.  The weather forecast for today is very poor once again, such that there are severe weather warnings for a large area.  Italy is of course very prone to floods, mudslides and large landslides, as covered in previous posts here.

Some landslides have occurred – particularly notable is one that occurred on the A12 motorway between Brugnato and Carrodano, in the province of La Spezia,  Reported rainfall in this area has exceeded 400 mm, inducing a landslide that struck a an articulated truck (images from La Repubblica):






The news reports suggest that the driver was stuck in his cab for some hours after the incident before being rescued – I am not sure whether he was very unlucky (to be hit in the first place) or very lucky (to survive).  It is however slightly surprising to see a failure affecting a tunnel portal in this way.