Six dead, two missing in Livorno floods (4)

Row over rain warning

(ANSA) - Rome, September 11 - Six people were killed and two are missing after floods caused by torrential rain in Livorno at the weekend.
    Authorities in the Tuscan coastal city have pointed the finger at the civil protection department and weathermen for allegedly not alerting them to the flood danger.
    Premier Paolo Gentiloni urged "all the institutions in Livorno to collaborate without sparking rows, focusing on the community" after the accusations that warnings on the deadly floods came too late. "To the victims go not only our thoughts but also the solidarity of the whole country," Gentiloni added.
    Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said on his arrival in Livorno Monday: "I don't think this is an emergency, it would be wrong to call it an emergency". He said the rain-fed floods were the result of "climate change, and other (factors)". Galletti said the government had earmarked "millions of euros to clean up rivers and sewer systems, and now this money must be spent".
    Livorno Mayor Filippo Nogarin said that "we are working non-stop and we don't have the time or the inclination to go on with the usual sterile polemics" amid criticism of a flood warning system. "The city is trying to raise its head again with great labour and pain. "The civil protection (department), the fire brigade, the technicians of (environmental services company) ASA and (power group) ENEL are doing an extraordinary job together with the volunteers and we can see the results".
    Rome was also flooded in several parts and various metro stations were closed because of flooding.
    The storm front has now moved further south with flooding in and around Salerno, while mud and rocks have engulfed basements in and around Avellino.
    There has also been flooding in Palermo and Catania, where gales have felled trees, while there have been storms all night in the Aeolian Islands.
    There has been disruption to train services around Mt Vesuvius and between Naples and Rome with some trains delayed by as much as four hours.
    A stretch of the A2 motorway near Reggio Calabria was closed after a landslide.