November 7th, 2011

Floods in Italy and France

Posted at 12:38 PM ET

france-italy-flood-smallTorrential rainfall across northern and central Italy and southeastern France has triggered widespread flooding, killing at least 11 people and causing damage to property and infrastructure. Reports said the heavy rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks and forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes. The Italian city of Genoa was badly hit on November 4 after more than 350 millimeters of rain fell in six hours. Authorities in Italy have issued fresh flood alerts and are warning thousands more people will be at risk if the flooding continues.

Damage Assessment

Heavy rain has fallen across Italy over the past two weeks. The rainfall over the weekend hit northwestern regions of the country particularly hard. Property damage has been reported in Italy and vehicles were damaged after they were swept away. Flooding was also reported in southeastern France over the weekend. Although damage assessments are still ongoing, reports indicate homes, businesses and vehicles have been damaged. Damage to infrastructure has also been reported.


Hazard data illustrated in the CAT-i map was taken from i-aXs®, Guy Carpenter’s web-based risk management platform. i-aXs users can view impacted areas on any map as well as see how their portfolios were affected. Please contact your broker or GC Analytics (SM) representative for assistance or go to for further information.


Widespread damage has been reported in Italy after flooding hit northern and central regions of the country over the weekend. Reports said flooding along the rivers of the Po and the Tanaro has caused considerable damage. Seven people died in Genoa on November 4 after more than 350 millimeters of rainfall fell in six hours and floodwaters raged through the city’s streets. Television footage showed cars floating and people wading knee-deep through flooded streets in Genoa. Reports said hundreds of buildings were flooded and emergency officials urged residents to move to high ground. Officials said schools and museums would close for a few days due to property damage. Several roads in the region and Genoa’s airport were closed, while the city’s streets were largely deserted after a driving ban was enforced. Italy’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, said that improper construction in flood plains was partly to blame for the damage in Genoa.

Italian authorities have since issued fresh safety warnings as the torrential rain has continued to cause havoc across Italy. Reports said thousands of people, from Milan to Venice, are at risk if the flooding continues. Thousands of people have evacuated their homes in the city of Turin after the River Po rose 4 meters. Schools in the area have also been ordered to close as a precaution. Weather forecasters predicted the Po would rise to 6.7 meters near the city of Piacenza on November 8.

The floods have also affected central regions after one person died in Naples Province. An alert was issued here on November 6 as heavy rain caused widespread flooding. Several football matches in the area were postponed and the ruins of Pompeii, on the outskirts of Naples City, were temporarily closed due to flooding fears.

Flooding also hit Italy last week, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency in the northern regions of Liguria and Tuscany. Reports said these floods killed at least 10 people and caused widespread damage.


Heavy rainfall and flooding also affected southeastern regions of France over the weekend. An orange alert, the second-highest weather alert in France, was issued in 16 southern regions on November 5 and remained in place for twelve regions the following day. Reports said the level of the Var River rose from 1.5 meters to 5 metrrs over the weekend. Authorities were consequently called in to assist more than 2,300 people after the river burst its banks and inundated streets and homes.

More than 1,600 people were evacuated or assisted by authorities in Var and about 3,900 homes were without electricity. Reports said the region of Alpes-Maritimes was also badly affected by the flooding. Authorities said 700 people had been evacuated in the Alpes-Maritimes region since November 5.

Sources: USGS, WSI, Reuters News, Associated News, Agence France Presse, CNN News, BBC News, EQECAT

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Guy Carpenter publishes CAT-i reports for major natural catastrophes worldwide. These reports cover catastrophes including worldwide tropical cyclones, earthquakes, major UK and European floods and any other natural event that is likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

Guy Carpenter compiles RISK-i reports for major technological or man-made events worldwide. These reports cover risks to property, transport and life including explosions, fires, crashes, engineering disasters and terrorist attacks that are likely to incur a significant loss to the (re)insurance industry. Please email if you wish to be added to the free email distribution list.

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