Devastating floods in Italy put spotlight on climate change

Ahead of the country’s general election on September 25, climate change is becoming an election issue

RH Monitoring Desk September 18, 2022

After devastating floods in Pakistan caused a stir, the massive flash floods caused by heavy rains in Italy’s central region has sparked a debate over climate change ahead of the country’s general elections.

The devastating flash floods in Italy’s central Marche region have led to the death of at least 10 people in the region. According to Italian officials, four people are still missing after floods in the region. The flash floods sent the residents scrambling onto rooftops or on trees for safety.

Carlo Manfredi, the Mayor of Castellone di Suasa, one of the towns impacted by the heavy rainfall told Italy’s Rai News 24 that it was an “apocalyptic situation”. “Plants and trees were moved around like twigs,” he said.

Italian officials say there was no warning of a huge weather storm and only normal weather warning was issued for the region.

The flash floods and the devastation caused by it, less than two weeks before Italy’s general elections scheduled for September 25, have forced the country’s politicians to take up climate change as an election issue. 

Italy’s Leader of Opposition, Enrico Letta of the Center-Left Democratic Party said, “how can you think that the fight against climate change is not the first priority.”

Italy’s former Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said, “Italy and Europe must take climate change seriously.”

But despite the country being hit by severe drought and other extreme weather events, climate change had taken a back seat during the election campaign, according to France24. “This summer’s drought, the worst in 70 years, drained the Po River, Italy’s largest water reservoir,” the report said.

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