News Fierce winds raze forests in storm-hit Italy
The Genoa region alone had suffered tens of millions of euros’ worth of damage — a price tag that could rise to hundreds of millions in the long term (AFP Photo/MARCO BERTORELLO)Rome (AFP) – Fierce winds and rains have killed at least 20 people in Italy this week and razed thousands of hectares of forest in the country’s devastated north, officials said.An 87-year-old woman and a 62-year-old German tourist were killed Friday after being struck by lightning in Sardinia.It brings to 20 the number of people killed by bad weather in Italy since the start of the week, according to the country’s civil protection agency, with meteorologists predicting further wind and rain throughout the weekend.Trees covering the mountainsides in the Dolomites range were reduced to matchsticks, flattened by winds that tore through the Veneto region on Thursday.”It’s like after an earthquake,” Veneto governor Luca Zaia said. „Thousands of hectares of forest were razed to the ground, as if by a giant electric saw.”In addition, 160,000 people in the region were left without electricity, Zaia said, adding that parts of the Dolomites were „reduced to looking like the surface of the moon”.”We’ve been brought to our knees,” the politician said.The storms in northern Italy on Thursday killed two pensioners aged 74 and 73 when a tree fell on their car in the Aosta Valley. Another person fell into a river in the Brescia region and was dragged under by the current.In the Alto Adige region, an 81-year-old died after falling off the damaged roof of his Alpine cottage, while a 53-year-old whose car was hit by a falling tree during bad weather died on Monday.- Cut off -Several towns in the province of Belluno were cut off after a landslide damaged a mountain road and repair efforts were hampered by the insistent heavy rains.Floods in Sicily have closed many roads and mayors ordered schools, public parks, and underpasses shut.The picturesque fishing village of Portofino near Genoa, a famed holiday resort on the Italian riviera, was only reachable by sea after the main road collapsed and an emergency path opened to let residents out was deemed too dangerous.”It won’t be easy or quick but we count on returning Portofino next summer to the millions of tourists who come to visit it,” regional governor Giovanni Toti said.The Genoa region alone had suffered tens of millions of euros’ worth of damage — a price tag that could rise to hundreds of millions in the long term, he added.Italy’s civil protection agency described the weather lashing Italy this week as „one of the most complex meteorological situations of the past 50 to 60 years”.Venice was inundated by near-record flooding on Monday, ferocious storms drove high winds reaching up to 180 kilometres (110 miles) an hour, and hundreds of trees were torn up by their roots in the Italian capital.
This fallen oak tree heavily damaged the home of Jennifer Lyles in Natchez, Miss., after a tornado hit early Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. At least 11 tornadoes have been confirmed by National Weather Service surveyors so far in Louisiana and Mississippi as part of a storm system that moved across the region Wednesday night and Thursday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on severe weather (all times local):5:20 p.m.At least 28 tornadoes have been confirmed by National Weather Service surveyors in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as part of a storm system that moved across the region Wednesday night and Thursday.Damage surveys are continuing in some areas.Louisiana has recorded nine tornadoes, including one with top winds estimated at 134 mph (215 kph) that ripped a 20-mile (32-kilometer) path across central Louisiana. It damaged more than 100 structures and injured two people who were inside a mobile home that flipped.Mississippi also saw at least 10 twisters, including one in Natchez with estimated top winds of 115 mph (185 kph) that damaged trees and structures.Seven tornadoes have been recorded in east Texas including one with top winds of 107 mph (172 kph) that damaged 16 structures in Cushing.Alabama saw two tornadoes including one that damaged a factory in Cusseta._7 a.m.Forecasters said most of the East Coast was at risk for severe weather Friday, with winds as strong as 60 mph, isolated tornadoes and heavy rain possible as the Gulf Coast recovered from storms blamed for two deaths.Waves of weather moving in from the Gulf of Mexico at daybreak brought rain and lightning to parts of the Florida Panhandle struck last month Hurricane Michael, and the threat was supposed to spread to the north and east through the day.The Storm Prediction Center said there was a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms along a line running from Florida’s west coast to southern New Hampshire in New England.At least two deaths along the Gulf Coast were blamed on storms that hit Wednesday night and Thursday._Midnight Powerful storms are expected to continue Friday through a region still trying to recover from Hurricane Michael.Storms covered a wide area of the country reaching from beaches to the Great Lakes, but howling wind and driving rain threw a particular scare into the Florida Panhandle, which was ripped apart by Hurricane Michael less than a month ago.At least two people’s deaths have been attributed to the storms and at least 12 tornadoes had been confirmed by Thursday night in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, with the damage surveys expected to continue Friday.Officials are concerned about heavy rain and any structures that have already been damaged, as well as loose tree limbs being toppled by strong wind or rain, Lawrence said. Hundreds of homes protected only by flimsy tarps were particularly vulnerable.The Storm Prediction Center reported downed trees and utility lines from eastern Texas to northwest Alabama. The Southeastern storms left nearly 110,000 homes and businesses without electricity at the height, and both weather-related deaths occurred in wrecks.
AP Photo/Garret FischerFirst, at vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui voluptatum.
U.K.-based EasyJet said in a statement Wednesday that it submitted a revised expression of interest in Alitalia, while Delta also presented a proposal. Italian state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato said it also made an offer.The bids raise the prospect of Alitalia gaining multiple owners, with EasyJet bringing its expertise to bear on short-haul operations, and Atlanta-based Delta helping to run lucrative long-haul flights out of Milan and Rome. Ferrovie would most likely act as an anchor investor.State-appointed administrators for Alitalia confirmed that two binding bids had been received, together with one expression of interest, without saying who they were from. Economic Development Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said that “finding an industrial partner is going to be key.”Unprofitable Alitalia went into liquidation last year when former 49 percent shareholder Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi pulled the plug on funding and workers rejected a 2 billion-euro ($2.3 billion) recapitalization tied to 1,600 job cuts from a workforce of 12,500.Bridge Loan An initial bid deadline of April 30 this year was extended to Oct. 31 as Italian political parties struggled to form a new government. The airline has been surviving on a 900 million-euro bridge loan that expires in December, though the facility could be extended while the search for investors continues, according to Italian press reports.Deutsche Lufthansa AG, which put its name forward earlier in the process, said it decided not to bid, reiterating recent comments from Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr that Alitalia would need to be significantly restructured for it to be interested. Also previously involved in the bidding were EasyJet’s low-cost rival Wizz Air Holdings Plc and Air France-KLM Group, a former Alitalia shareholder previously linked to EasyJet’s approach which is about 10 percent held by Delta.The U.S. company described Alitalia as a long-standing partner in its trans-Atlantic venture with Air France-KLM and said it’s continuing to explore ways to work with the Rome-based carrier. EasyJet said its submission is consistent with its “existing strategy” for Italy, without revealing details.Rail Interest The involvement of Ferrovie could be a complication for EasyJet, since its high-speed trains are a major competitor for Alitalia on domestic routes. The rail group became part of Italy’s planning following a March general election that led to a populist coalition of the Five Star Movement and League parties.The government itself could also take a 15 percent stake, reports have said, something that could form a further obstacle to the wholesale job cuts corporate investors might want to impose.Tim Clark, president of Dubai-based Emirates, the world’s biggest airline on long-haul routes, said Thursday in Monaco that his company didn’t bid but that the Italian market is attractive because of its size and robust demand.“You see carriers circling around the edge of Alitalia, but whether they’ll plunge in and eat it all I don’t know,” he said.–With assistance from William Wilkes.To contact the reporters on this story: Christopher Jasper in London at email@example.com;Chiara Albanese in Rome at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, Jerrold Colten, Andrew NoëlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2018 Bloomberg L.P.