Wednesday 7 August 2019

Around 200 people evacuated from their homes as landslide hits Italian town.

Around 200 people have been evacuated from their homes after a landslide hit the town of Casargo in the Lombardy Region of Italy on the evening of Tuesday 6 August 2019. The landslide swept through the streets of the town, which is situated above Lake Como, sweeping cars, fences and other debris along with it. Many of the towns residents have been evacuated to a nearby hotel while emergency workers search through the debris, though so far no casualties or damage to buildings have been reported. A number of smaller communities on the hills above the town have been cut off by the incident.

Half-buried cars and other debris following a landslide which swept through the Italian town of Casargo on 6 August 2019. EPA.

The incident occurred after a series of storms swept across northern Italy, with 31 mm of rain reported in 20 minutes in the city of Bolzano, and winds of up to 75 kilometres per hour recorded. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall. The rainfall has also lead to widespread flooding in the area, with several rivers bursting their banks and water levels in lakes at dangerously high levels.

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