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article imageItaly storms toll climbs to five

By AFP     Nov 13, 2014 in World

The death toll from the latest wave of storms to batter northern Italy rose to five Thursday after floods and landslides wreaked havoc across the region.

Damage so far from flooding and landslides has been estimated at more than 100 million euros ($125 million).

At Moscazzano, southeast of Milan, emergency services recovered the body of a 36-year-old local council employee near a mill where he had been trying to prevent flood waters from reaching a nearby restaurant.

Further north, a man in his 70s drowned in Lake Maggiore Wednesday after falling in while trying to secure his boat at the port of Ispra.

Earlier in the week, landslides killed three elderly people, a couple whose house was swamped in the coastal region of Liguria, and one near Turin. All three of those deaths are subject to manslaughter investigations focused on whether the tragedies could have been avoided.

This week's deaths take to nine the number of people killed in weather-related accidents in northern Italy in the last month. Some of the fatalities have been blamed on poor infrastructure.

Although the rain eased up Thursday, more than 60 schools remained closed in Milan alone and many streets were flooded after the Seveso and Lambro rivers burst their banks.

Emergency services are fearful that the Po river, the biggest in the area, could follow suit. After a brief respite, heavy rains are forecast to resume over the weekend.

Weather alerts for Saturday have forced officials to bring forward an Italy-Argentina rugby test match in Genoa. It will now be played on Friday at 1615 GMT instead of Saturday afternoon.

In Liguria, various towns have reported three to four million euros in damage. The Piedmont region has so far counted 100 million euros in public damage costs, with private estimates yet to come.

Italy has been hit by recent waves of bad weather. Several major cities ordered schools to close last week, including Rome, due to the risk of flooding, while a small cyclone caused only material damage in Sicily.

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