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Italy's Meloni leaves G7 summit early to visit flood-hit Italian region

Emilia-Romagna floods kill at least 14 people.

Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni on Sunday travelled home a day early from the G7 summit in Japan to visit the northern Emilia-Romagna region devastated by floods.

The disaster has claimed the lives of at least 14 people and forced 36,000 residents to evacuate their homes, causing billions of euro worth of damage and leaving many areas without electricty.

In a tweet on Saturday Meloni thanked the other G7 leaders for expressing their solidarity with Italy and those affected by the floods, writing: "Your closeness is a tangible sign of our cohesion in difficult times."

"Frankly, I can't stay so far away from Italy in such a difficult moment", Meloni told reporters at a late-night press briefing before leaving Hiroshima, adding that she had informed the other G7 leaders who "understood and supported" her decision.

Meloni also confirmed that the next G7 summit will be held in the southern Italian region of Puglia in June 2024.

The premier is expected to arrive in Emilia-Romagna on Sunday afternoon, according to Italian media reports, ahead of a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to decide on emergency measures to address the disaster.

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