The mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno requested that the Lazio Region declare a state of emergency in Rome after early morning floods on 20 October caused chaos in the capital. Likening the damage to that of an earthquake, the mayor said the intensity of the storm was unexpected and he raised concerns over the high water levels of the river Tiber.
The floods effectively closed down whole sections of the city, in particular in the north-west of the capital, where cars were submerged, with some drivers trapped inside their vehicles until rescued by the emergency services, who responded to over 5,000 call-outs.
Many businesses and houses were flooded, and a 32 year old Sri Lankan man drowned in his basement home in the southern district of Infernetto. In the same area, fire fighters were called in to evacuate students from several schools. Unable to cope with the volume of water, the city