ROME: The death toll from fierce storms battering Italy has risen to 10, civil protection authorities said on Tuesday, as wild weather swept parts of Europe, leaving motorists and tourists stranded.
Road were blocked and thousands of people were left without power in southern and central Europe, as rains and violent winds sparked flooding and tore trees from their roots.
Thick snow has also cloaked French and Italian mountain regions, trapping hundreds of drivers in their cars and tourists in hotels.
In Italy, where Venice was inundated by near-record flooding and ferocious storms drove high winds reaching up to 180 kilometres an hour, authorities announced a further five deaths, after confirming five people had died on Monday.
Luxury yachts lay smashed in the harbour of Rapallo near Genoa after a dam broke under pressure.
“It was like a tsunami,” one stunned port worker was quoted as saying by Italian media.
“We thought the danger would come from the mountains, we thought the problem would be landslides,” said Liguria head Giovanni Toti.
“Instead, we get a coastal storm surge the likes of which we’ve never seen,” he said.
Authorities on Tuesday reported a woman died when her home was engulfed by a mudslide in the northern region of Trentino, a man was killed in the northeastern Veneto region by a falling tree, and a firefighter died during relief operations in South Tyrol.