Monday, September 19, 2011

Rare tornado, storms cause havoc in Italy killing FOUR - 19th Sept 2011

Violent storms across Italy that led to four deaths over the weekend caused damage and disruption on air, port and city transport systems on Monday, officials said.

Six underground subway stations in the capital Rome that were closed due to flooding overnight disrupting the morning rush hour reopened in the early afternoon. Buses took travellers between stops.

Palermo airport on the island of Sicily was forced to close for 40 minutes after a tornado whipped a Falcon 2000 aircraft off the runway, throwing it against police and emergency vehicles.

The storm also ripped free the 'Suprema' ferry from its moorings at Palermo port, causing a small boat nearby to sink before running into an English destroyer, the Monmouth, which was undamaged.

Train traffic was disrupted in the Naples region causing delays and regional train cancellations.

In the town of Canepina, north of Rome, more than a third of the central square caved in after it was undermined by water.

In northern Italy, snow and falling trees closed five mountain passes.

On Sunday, two hikers were found dead in a landslide, while a 72-year-old German tourist died after falling into a ravine and a man in his 40s from Milan was struck by lightning.

After several days of unseasonally high temperatures, weather conditions took a turn for the worse in the north of the country on Saturday gradually moving south on Sunday. Source