'Apocalyptic' storm floods parts of Sardinia

Nov 18, 2013

At least nine people have been killed as heavy storms and floods swept through the Italian island of Sardinia, local officials say.

They say a number of people are missing after rivers burst their banks, sweeping cars away and causing a bridge to collapse.

The worst-hit area appears to be in and around the north-eastern city of Olbia.

Hundreds of people across the Mediterranean island were evacuated from their homes.

"We're at maximum alert," Giorgio Cicalo, an official from Sardinia's civil protection authority, told Italy's Rai TV.

"We haven't seen a situation as extreme as this, perhaps for decades. Especially because it's been across the whole island."

Local media report three people died when a road bridge collapsed onto their car near Olbia.

In a separate incident, a mother and her daughter were found dead in their car after it was swept away by floods.

Among the victims was also a police officer who died after a bridge collapsed.

Olbia Mayor Gianni Giovanelli was quoted by Sky TG24 as saying that the city had been destroyed by an "apocalyptic"' storm.

Some city residents used social media to offer shelter to those forced out of their homes.

The storms also caused extensive damage to farms on the island and disrupted a number of flights to and from mainland Italy.

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