Archive for Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rains pound Italy as emergency declared

December 13, 2008


— Rome declared a state of emergency as the swollen Tiber river threatened to flood Friday and the death toll from the heavy rains battering much of Italy rose to four.

The Civil Protection Department said the Tiber had risen about 16 feet in the past two days and warned it might burst its banks.

Officials evacuated Gypsy camps along the Tiber’s banks and boats broke loose from their moorings in the surging water. The smaller Aniene river, which flows into the Tiber, already overflowed, forcing officials to close down some streets in Rome and evacuate hundreds of people.

Tourists snapped pictures as the roiling Tiber surged underneath the city’s bridges. Lumir, an Afghan hound, sported a blue raincoat Friday as his owner watched the Tiber rise in Rome.


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