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Marche chief announces probe into procedures after deadly storms, floods

Commission to be set up to find 'dysfunction, responsibility'

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 22 - Marche Governor Francesco Acquaroli on Thursday announced a probe into possible "dysfunctions and responsibilities" in the procedures used by the civil defence department to cope with last week's devastating floods in the central-eastern Italian region which killed at least 11 people with two still missing but feared dead also.
    Acquaroli, a member of the rightwing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party which is poised to win Sunday's general election in Italy, said the region would set up a technical commission "to carry out an investigation aimed at establishing the regularity and appropriateness of the procedures adopted and the conduct taken by the competent organisational structures of the regional civil protection (department)".
    The commission will be tasked with highlighting "possible dysfunctions and responsibilities" on the part of the authorities which addressed the September 15 floods.
    The governor asked the secretary general of the body to set up the commission.
    "It is a necessary act, to guarantee everyone," said Acquaroli on Facebook.
    Hopes of finding the two missing people have almost died, bringing the likely final death toll to 13.
    Rescue workers said Tuesday that they have found the tennis shoes of Mattia Luconi, an eight-year-old boy who is one of those missing.
    Mattia was snatched out of his mother's arms by torrential rain-swollen flood waters on the evening of September 15 in the area of Castelleone di Suasa.
    On Monday the boy's backpack was found some eight kilometers from where he went missing.
    A 56-year-old woman is also missing-feared-dead after the storms, which also caused massive damage.
    Ancona Chief Prosecutor Monica Garulli has said the failure to alert in advance the towns hit by the deadly storms is one of things her investigation in the regional capital is looking at.
    "In terms of the dynamics of events, what has been found at the moment is that there was no alert from the Marche regional government to the towns (affected)", Garulli told RAI television.
    "The investigation is at an initial stage".
    Some experts have said it was impossible to forecast the level of violence of the extreme weather that hit Marche last week even though torrential rain was expected.
    Scientists say climate change caused by human activity is making extreme weather events such as these storms more frequent and more intense.
    Premier Mario Draghi linked the disaster to the climate crisis when he visited the area amid a massive relief effort on Friday.
    "What happened today shows how the fight against climate change is fundamental," he said. (ANSA).
   

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