Heavy rain in Switzerland and Italy causes flooding

Heavy rain in Switzerland and Italy causes flooding

Flash flooding and landslides swept away cars and houses, with at least one person known to have died, alongside widespread damage to transport infrastructure.

Unsettled conditions persisted around the Alpine region over the weekend, before pushing farther south into Italy, bringing similar downpours to Emilia-Romagna and northern Tuscany on Tuesday. Between 100mm and 200mm of rain fell across much of the area, which caused rivers to overflow their banks and resulted in widespread flooding.

Heatwaves around the northern hemisphere have continued to dominate weather headlines. Temperatures in Saudi Arabia soared above 50˚C (122˚F) at times last week as millions undertook the hajj pilgrimage, with more than 500,000 people taken to hospital and up to 1,300 deaths subsequently attributed to heat-related illnesses.

In the US, more than 100 million people were affected by heat alerts over the past week, with daily temperature records smashed in some north-eastern states on Friday and Death Valley in California hitting 49˚C on Sunday.

In Pakistan, hundreds of deaths have been reported since the weekend as temperatures widely exceeded 40˚C each day.