| 30 November 2023, Thursday |

Italy’s Meloni visits flood-hit areas as EU mobilises emergency equipment to help authorities

According to reports, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited the areas in the northeast of the country that were affected by severe floods, resulting in the loss of 14 lives. Following her participation in the G7 summit in Japan, Meloni cut short her visit and returned to Italy to assess the damage and show support for the affected communities.
She termed her experience from the visit a “moving” one. She also shook hands with mud-splattered property owners and volunteers, said the PM to the media personnel in Ravenna.
“You’re doing a great job,” the prime minister told a Ghibullo resident who was assisting people by donating food to people who became homeless due to the tragic floods.
While 36,000 people were forced to leave Emilia Romagna earlier this week due to the nonstop rain, the area reported on Sunday that 10,000 or so had already been able to go back home. In a region that also produces grain and fruit like apricots and cherries, the catastrophic weather, which saw six months’ worth of rainfall in only 36 hours, has left widespread devastation and taken a heavy toll on farmers.

Even though a red weather advisory was extended until Monday, the rain had mostly stopped by Sunday. Tuesday’s cabinet meeting is anticipated to be used by Meloni to release the region’s emergency funds that have been blocked.

EU mobilises emergency equipment to help Italian authorities
The EU has moblised pumping equipment from Austria, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Germany, France, Slovenia, and Slovakia via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to assist the Italian authorities in dealing with floods in response to a fresh request for aid from Italy.

The request follows recent flooding and landslides in Italy brought on by extreme weather, which especially affected the Emilia Romagna area in the country’s north-central region, according to a statement from the EU.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was initiated by the Italian government on May 21. High-capacity pumping machinery from the European Civil Protection Pool was requested by the authorities.

The EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre has been in constant contact with the Italian authorities, who are currently assessing the offers, and the EU stands ready to provide further help if needed. The EU’s Copernicus programme has also provided emergency satellite mapping of the affected areas, following a request from the Italian civil protection authority on 16 May.

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