The towns around Lake Como, in northern Italy, were affected on Tuesday by avalanches and floods, in another sample of extreme meteorological phenomena that, according to a group of the Italian agricultural industry, have been intensified in recent years.
Italian firefighters carried out more than 60 rescues after the storms will wreak havoc on the picturesque lake surrounded by mountains.
Among the rescues carried out, firefighters rescued an elderly woman who was trapped in her home, as well as a disabled person and a caregiver who were isolated by the avalanche. For now, no deaths or injuries have been reported.
In Brienno, on the western shore of the lake and the worst affected town, 50 residents were trapped in their homes when a landslide caused a gas leak.
To the south, in Cernobbio, firefighters evacuated a condominium that was at risk from the floods.
“In Italy we are facing the consequences of climate change, with a trend towards tropicalization and the multiplication of extreme events, ” said Coldiretti, an association representing the Italian agricultural industry.
Coldiretti emphasized the more frequent, sudden and violent storms, as well as the short and intense rains and the rapid changes from sunny skies to storms.
Coldiretti estimates that damage to agricultural production, buildings and infrastructure in the last decade amounts to 14 billion euros (16.5 billion dollars) by events caused by climate changesuch as floods and landslides.
The storms that hit Lake Como came a day after hail the size of tennis balls it caused damage to almost 100 cars and stopped traffic on a highway near Bologna, in northern Italy.
A video showed cars with the windshield shattered by hail detained on the side of the road, while drivers and passengers checked the damage.
Although hail storms are common during the summer in Italy’s Padana plain, meteorologist Luca Lombroso told the Bologna newspaper il Resto di Carlino that the strength and frequency of this year’s hailstorms has made it the phenomenon is something “unusual”‘.