A motorway bridge has collapsed, one person has died and hundreds have been evacuated in Italy following a weekend of heavy rains in much of the country.
The president of the northern Piedmon region, Alberto Cirio, said there were “almost 130 road closures, a region completely paralysed, more than 550 evacuees and another 600 people isolated” in a Monday interview with the La7 television.
The most dramatic incidents took place on Sunday, with road collapses on motorways in Piedmont and Liguria, a neighbouring region.
In both cases, noone was injured.
In Liguria, near the city of Savona, a viaduct collapsed due to a mudslide, forcing the closure of the A6 motorway towards Turin, the capital of Piedmont.
“I saw a black hole. I slammed the brakes and managed to stop about 40 metres before (the void),” Security Guard Daniele Cassol, who was driving by, told Monday’s La Repubblica newspaper.
Later on Sunday, a crater opened up on the Turin-Piacenza motorway in Piedmont, probably due to heavy rains.
The road was reopened on Monday after repairs.
The two events evoked comparisons with the collapse of Genoa’s Morandi motorway bridge in August 2018, in which 43 people died, and highlighted once again the poor state of Italy’s infrastructure.
On Monday the Po river, which runs through most of northern Italy, overflooded, and there were more weather-related disruptions in Sardinia.
Meanwhile, Piedmont-based Ferrero, which makes Nutella hazelnut spread, said it would resume production after flooding risks forced a stop on the weekend.