‘Apocalyptic’ storms ravage major tourist destination

Europe

‘Apocalyptic’ storms ravage major tourist destination

A yacht near Rapallo after a storm hit the harbour in Rapallo, near Genoa. Picture: Marco Bertorello/AFP

THE death toll in Italy has risen to at least 17 after a week of severe storms caused flooding and widespread damage across the country, including to major tourist destinations.

The powerful winds and torrential rains devastated parts of Italy and caused the worst flooding Venice as seen in a decade.

Venice has been inundated by near-record flooding and ferocious storms drove high winds reaching up to 180 kilometres an hour. In total, 17 people have died. Picture: Miguel Medina/AFP

Venice has been inundated by near-record flooding and ferocious storms drove high winds reaching up to 180 kilometres an hour. In total, 17 people have died. Picture: Miguel Medina/AFPSource:AFP

In the northern region of Veneto, damage has reached an amount of one billion euros (A$1.6 billion).

Winds of up to 190 kilometres per hour destroyed hectares of prized forest, felling 300,000 trees in the famous Violin Forest.

Two people were killed when a falling tree crushed their car in the mountainous countryside in northwestern Italy, as rainstorms and strong winds continued to pummel much of the country.

Destroyed yachts and boats in the harbour of Rapallo, near Genoa. Picture: Marco Bertorello/ AFP

Destroyed yachts and boats in the harbour of Rapallo, near Genoa. Picture: Marco Bertorello/ AFPSource:AFP

The Italian news agency ANSA also reported on Thursday that a man died of injuries suffered earlier this week when his car crashed into fallen trees in the Alpine region of South Tyrol.

Storm damage has also cut off roads to the picturesque village of Portofino, leaving ferries the only transport to and from the Mediterranean port town for the next few days.

The flooded St. Mark

The flooded St. Mark’s Square in Venice caused by a convergence of high tides and a strong Sirocco wind. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

In Florence, the Boboli Gardens, where cypresses had fallen a few days ago, were reopened to visitors.

Venice was severely flooded this week with water covering the mosaic floor of St Mark’s Basilica.

Water covers the mosaic floor of a section of St. Mark

Water covers the mosaic floor of a section of St. Mark’s Basilica, in Venice, Italy. High winds created an exceptional tide, covering three-quarters of the city for the first time in a decade. Picture: Andrea Merola/ANSA via APSource:AP

A German woman died during a storm after she was struck by lightning on the Italian island of San Pietro, near the larger island of Sardinia, a spokesman for the Civil Protection Agency said on Saturday.

A fallen tree on a car in Rome. At least 17 people are dead from severe weather that has swept across Italy. Picture: AFP

A fallen tree on a car in Rome. At least 17 people are dead from severe weather that has swept across Italy. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

The woman was hiking with her husband and son, according to news agency ANSA, when bad weather moved in, causing the family to end the outing on Friday afternoon.

Before they returned to their car, the woman was hit by lightning and thrown several metres into the air.

Cars damaged by bad weather in the Prati district of Rome. Picture: Tiziana FABI/AFP

Cars damaged by bad weather in the Prati district of Rome. Picture: Tiziana FABI/AFPSource:AFP

A total of 17 people across Italy have been killed over the past week in storms, tornadoes, floods, mudslides and gale force winds.

The northeastern province of Belluno has been particularly badly hit.

A yacht near Rapallo after a storm hit the harbour in Rapallo, near Genoa. Picture: Marco Bertorello/AFP

A yacht near Rapallo after a storm hit the harbour in Rapallo, near Genoa. Picture: Marco Bertorello/AFPSource:AFP

Angelo Borelli from the local Civil Protection Agency described some of the scenes as “apocalyptic” with collapsed roads and downed telephone poles in winds of up to 190 kilometres per hour.

Weather warnings are still in place for Sardinia and Sicily.

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