Death toll from floods in Italy climbs to nine and woman's body is dragged 12 ... trends now
The death toll from the 'apocalyptic' floods in northern Italy has risen to nine with more heavy rain being forecast for this weekend.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in the popular holiday region of Emilia-Romagna after torrential rain on a 'biblical' scale.
The body of a 60-year-old woman, whose husband, 70, also died in the extreme weather, was found on the beach near Cesenatico after her body had been dragged 12 miles down a river.
Desperate families - including young children and the elderly - were forced to clamber on to their roofs in the tourist hotspot as they waited anxiously for rescuers to reach them in helicopters.
This weekend's Italian Grand Prix in Imola was also cancelled to allow emergency services to cope with greater pressure and to prevent crowds gathering in the flooded streets.
'The city is on its knees, devastated and in pain,' said Gian Luca Zattini, the mayor of Forli, a city near Bologna where three people were confirmed dead today. 'It's the end of the world.'
Flooded bungalows in Cesena after heavy rains caused major flooding
Vehicles in Castel Bolognese, near Imola, were submerged as a result of heavy rainfall
Firefighters brought technicians on a boat on 17 May after the flood hit northern Italy
A desperate citizen was held her dog up as she walked through a flooded street in Castel Bolognese, near Imola
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes and pedestrians were seen walking through flooded streets
Torrential rain left damage and debris in its wake in northern Italy
A man awaits rescue by helicopter on the roof of his flooded house in the town of Faenza in the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna today
A family is rescued by firefighters in Coccolia, near Ravenna
A cyclist rides through a flooded street in the village of Castel Bolognese, Italy, Wednesday, May 17, 2023
A man walks in a flooded street in the village of Castel Bolognese, Italy, Wednesday, May 17, 2023
A shopping centre in Cesana is flooded after the Savio river burst its banks
Damaged cars that were swept away in the floods are seen stranded in the San Rocco district
This weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix has been called off due to extreme rain in Imola
In the city of Cesena locals were forced to swim through the submerged streets, past sunken cars and floating furniture, to reach higher ground, as the mayor said the situation there is 'critical'.
A video shows one desperate mother clinging to her young daughter while frantically waving for help as the water rose up to her chest outside her home. Two men were seen racing to swim to reach the pair, with one placing the young girl above his head to stop her getting swept away in the fast-moving waters.
The girl was passed into the arms of other rescuers standing on a bank, while neighbours helped her mother to safety after the Savio river burst its banks.
The extreme weather has extended to the Balkans. In Bosnia and Croatia, residents have watched in horror as their homes were submerged by the floods. 'We have an apocalypse,' Amin Halitovic, the mayor of the Bosnian town of Bosanska Krupa said. 'We can no longer count the flooded buildings. It's never been like this.'
The devastating floods have seen nine people killed so far and 5,000 evacuated from 24 towns across the Emilia-Romagna region as the water ripped through their homes and turned streets into rivers.
A 70-year-old man died in his flooded home in the countryside outside Cesena. His wife was rescued.
Two bodies were recovered by divers this morning in Forli after the Montone river burst its banks. The town's mayor said the floods are the 'worst situation' the town has ever experienced.
Scores are missing from the region as rescuers search for those trapped in their homes after rivers swollen by days of downpours wreaked havoc across the north.
Emilia Romagna, one of Italy's richest regions, had already been hit by heavy rain just a fortnight ago, causing floods that left two dead.
This time, around 50 centimetres (20 inches) of rain fell within 36 hours in Forli, Cesena and Ravenna - around half the normal annual rainfall, a situation 'with few precedents', Italy's civil protection minister Nello Musumeci said.
The deadly floods in the popular tourist hotspot have meant this weekend's Italian Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola has been cancelled.
F1 chiefs said that because of the sheer scale of the flooding across the region they could not guarantee the safety of their fans, teams and staff, while adding it would 'not be right to put further pressure' on local authorities.
The mayor of Cesana today warned continued downpours in the Emilia-Romagna region could flood the Savio river and smaller tributaries for a second day as he urged residents to move to upper floors of their homes.
'The situation could again become critical,' Enzo Lattuca said. 'We cannot in any way lower our guard.'
Mr Museumeci said some 5,000 people had been evacuated.
But the deputy chief of the civil protection agency, Titti Postiglione, said rescue operations for those needing emergency evacuations were particularly difficult given so many roads and routes were flooded and phone service has been interrupted.
Speaking on Sky TG24, she noted that the affected flood zone covered a broad swath of four provinces which, until the heavy rains, had been parched by a prolonged drought.
Cars are partially submerged along a flooded street in the village of Castel Bolognese, Italy, Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Rescuers look for a missing person in Cesena, northern Italy, on Wednesday
A helicopter flies above the closed Motor racing-Imola paddock, as Santerno river levels rise due to heavy rain, ahead of the weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, in Imola, Italy, May 17, 2023
An aerial view on a damaged Motta bridge, which connects the Motta-Budrio with San Martino in Argine, (Bologna), 17 May
A shopping centre flooded after the Savio river overflowed in Cesena, northern Italy
A video shows one desperate mother clinging to her young daughter while frantically waving for help as the water rose up to her chest outside her home
Two men were seen racing to swim to reach the pair, with one placing the young girl above his head (centre) to stop her getting swept away in the fast-moving waters
In the city of Cesena, in the hardest-hit northern Emilia-Romagna region, locals were forced to swim through the submerged streets, past sunken cars and floating furniture, to reach higher ground
A submerged car in Cesena
The damage caused by the flooding in Cesena
The region of Emilia-Romagna has been the hardest-hit, with thousands of people evacuated from their homes
Flooding has also caused havoc in northern Croatia and northwestern Bosnia, with thousands evacuated from their homes
The flooding has