Before and after satellite images show the extent of the devastation
Floodwaters have been slow to recede in northern Italy after two rounds of heavy rain this month left more than a dozen people dead.
Satellite photos of Faenza in the Emilia-Romagna region show how far the damage has gone.
The first images show Faenza bathed in sunlight on April 26, while the following images were taken about a month later, on May 21 and 23.
Before the floods, the region was in the midst of the worst drought in 70 years, according to a statement from Italy’s National Research Council.
The agency said the 2022 rainfall had decreased by 40%.
Heavy rains hit the region in the first days of May.
The 11.6 inches of rain fell on drought-ravaged ground, which acted more like cement, forcing the water to run off instead of seep in, the Minister of Civil Protection explained during a ‘a press conference.
The rivers swelled and carried away the cars; Two people died in the deluge, according to Italy’s civil protection department.
Raging waters clogged flood channels with debris.
The Earth eventually absorbed the water and saturated the ground. The combination created the disastrous setup for the next downpour two weeks later.
In mid-May, an additional 7.8 inches of rain fell in just 36 hours.
That’s six months of rainfall in just two weeks. Cliffs and hillsides collapsed and led to massive landslides that blocked roads and buried homes.
One of the region’s mayors said May 16 was the worst night in Romagna’s history.
Twenty-three rivers overflowed.