Catania devastated by the water, a man overwhelmed and killed

CATANIA – A very violent storm hit Catania and its province in the late morning, also causing one death. A 53-year-old man (and not a young woman, contrary to what was first learned) lost his life in Gravina by drowning in the flooded river created by the heavy rain. According to an initial reconstruction, it seems that the 53-year-old, originally from Pedara but resident in Catania, got out of a car in via Etnea, perhaps after a road accident, and was run over by water. The body was found by volunteers of Mercy under the car (the editorial staff, out of respect for the victim and the sensitivity of our readers, decided not to publish the video). Attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation were useless.

The streets of the city, and in particular the very central Via Etnea, have turned into streams and Piazza Duomo into a lake. Flooded the historic Pescheria market, the fountain of the Amenano (LOOK AT THE PICTURES). The situation was also aggravated by rainwater that poured into the city from the Etna villages and an electricity blackout that affected the historic center and the town hall. Underwater Alcalà square with dozens of cars trapped.

At 4.30 pm, more than 170 requests for help were received by the firefighters, 134 of which came from the city (65 from the historic center, 21 from the upper area, between Librino and the airport, 28 from Nesima). The new Garibaldi hospital is also flooded (LOOK AT THE PICTURES). Numerous motorists have been helped by the regional civil protection and voluntary associations: LOOK AT THE PICTURES. In some cases the firefighters had to resort to rafts. The west ring road of Catania, closed to traffic in the late morning at Gravina, was reopened in the afternoon. In the direction of Syracuse, traffic continues to be severely slowed down.

The areas most affected are those south of the Etna capital. Floods are recorded in the village of Santa Maria Goretti, adjacent to the airport, in the industrial area and in the marine areas of Plaia and Vaccarizzo: LOOK AT THE PICTURES. The state road 114 that connects Catania and Syracuse also invades: LOOK AT THE PICTURES. In Monte Po, near the junction of the ring road, some motorists were rescued by the firefighters who were stuck in the middle of the water: LOOK AT THE PICTURES.

Two hundred participants in a public competition were blocked due to bad weather at the Sicilian agri-food markets (Maas). Civil protection vehicles moved for assistance pending transfer to a safe area. Even in some sites in the industrial area, employees were waiting for an improvement in road traffic to be able to go home. At the Fontanarossa airport, the closure of Terminal C, scheduled for November 1st, is brought forward to today with immediate effect; therefore all flight operations will be performed at Terminal A.

From the early afternoon the mayor Salvo Pogliese has ordered the opening of the Pala Spedini to welcome homeless and homeless people and guarantee them from the heavy weather conditions that can jeopardize their safety. The people welcomed are those reported and transported to the municipal structure, by the operators of the Mosaic Cooperative of the Catania street unit, in collaboration with the Red Cross and the Municipal Civil Protection Department.

The Senate hall today stopped for a minute of silence to remember the victims of bad weather in the Catania area. To ask, at the beginning of the classroom, was the senator of Forza Italia, Urania Papatheu for the dead “which unfortunately will increase”, she said. The current president, Anna Rossomando, accepted the request by joining the condolences.

Critical situation also in the surrounding municipalities. In Misterbianco, four families were evacuated due to the landslide of mud and debris from Monte Cardillo. The only connecting road has been cleared, but as a precaution the inhabitants have left their homes, while the area is constantly monitored by civil protection volunteers. In Mascali, in the Fondachello district, some roads have been closed and some motorists have been rescued.

Strong inconvenience also yesterday at the Goretti Village, about thirty people were evicted from the Ippocampo Village. The Forcile, Fontanarossa and Gornalunga streams flooded. Whole neighborhoods flooded, trees and lighting poles in danger. Viale delle Olimpiadi completely flooded in Misterbianco: LOOK AT THE PICTURES.

Meanwhile, the search for 61-year-old Angela Caniglia continues in Scordia and in the countryside near Lentini, who has been missing for two days due to bad weather in the Ogliastro district. The operations are attended by firefighters, carabinieri and civil protection volunteers. Yesterday in a citrus grove far from the place where they were last seen, the lifeless body of her husband Sebastiano Gambera, a 67-year-old retired farmer, was found. The couple had returned to the village from a visit to a sick family member in Catania when they got out of their car, a Ford Fiesta, and were overwhelmed by the fury of the water. Other motorists who were stuck in their cars surrounded by water and mud and who were rescued and freed by firefighters sounded the alarm.

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