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Torrential rain cost Rome 243 million euros

Flooded buildings, street in greatest need

05 February, 17:32
Torrential rain cost Rome 243 million euros (ANSA) - Rome, February 5 - A week of torrential rain and floods will cost Rome 243 million euros in repairs, the capital said Wednesday. According to a statement, 90% of that estimate will have to go towards damaged buildings, streets, pipes and drains that narrowly escaped an engorged Tiber River overflowing its banks. Rome's inundated subway system is next in line, requiring 46 million euros in repairs. Over 12 million euros will be spent on removing fallen trees, cleaning up mudslides and clearing clogged sewers and ditches. Roughly 3.7 million euros are needed to fix flooded parks, public gardens, and tree-lined avenues.

The outskirts of the city were worst hit, forcing some Romans to take to the roofs of their homes. Military pumps have been working since Sunday night to protect Rome's Fiumicino airport from flooding.

Meanwhile showers in Rome were expected to continue well into next week. Rain and snow has pelted the whole of the country for the past week, claiming six lives in southern Italy over the weekend.

Nobel Prize-winning playwright Dario Fo has headed a list of writers, journalists and artists who petitioned the government to "take all necessary steps" to save the medieval walls of the ancient Etruscan town of Volterra near Pisa, part of which collapsed because of water infiltration Friday.

The civil protection department said the bad weather would "lift a little and give Italians some respite on Thursday, but otherwise citizens should brace for more very unseasonal and quasi-extreme events".

Since January 30, 2,288 volunteers and 40 technicians have fought pitched battles against damage wrought by some of the worst winter weather in years.