At least eight people died in flooding after violent rains lashed the Tuscan city of Livorno over the weekend, Italian rescue services said Tuesday. The body of a 67-year-old man, who had been reported missing since Sunday, was found on Tuesday, while the body of a 34-year-old woman had been found the day before.
Heavy rainstorms swept across the country overnight from Saturday to Sunday, with Livorno bearing the brunt of the flooding. Four people from the same family were found dead in a flooded house in the city on Sunday, where 40 centimeters (16 inches) of rainfall in four hours transformed streets into rivers and washed away cars.
A fifth body was later found in an area devastated by landslides, while a sixth was found in a nearby hilltop neighborhood. The media is already pointing fingers at local officials, blaming inadequate work commissioned in 2015 to control and regulate the flow of a river whose waters overflowed following the storms.
According to Corriere della Sera daily, retention basins built that year proved too small to contain the river’s sudden rise. Civil protection manager Giovanni Massini however said the works had been sound.
“What happened is a consequence of a really exceptional (meterological) event,” Massini said, as quoted by La Repubblica daily.