A storm front moving across the Italian peninsula has doused Lazio with heavy rains flooding low-lying areas throughout the region and forcing the closure of a number of roads and railway lines.

Flooding has been reported along a number of provincial highways such as Via Aurelia between Civitavecchia and Ladispoli and Via Casilina near Valmontone. Rome prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro has issued a warning advising citizens to stay off provincial motorways unless absolutely necessary.

Early morning 10 Dec, a landslide near Labico dumped over 300 cubic metres of mud and sections of a cement wall on to the Via Cassino railway line bringing commuter service to a halt. The line is expected to remain closed until the afternoon.

Streams and creeks all over the region are at risk of overflowing, particularly the river Mignone in the province of Viterbo, the Liri in the province of Frosinone and the Sacco in the province of Rome. In the capital, a the civil protection service has evacuated over 300 Rom living in a settlement on the banks of the river Aniene near Ponte Mamolo. Authorities say that so far, water levels for the Tiber are not a cause for concern.

According to the Agenzia Regionale per la Difesa del Suolo (ARDiS), flooding has been particularly severe due to heavy rainfall in November, which saturated the soil. Last month was the wettest November in 150 years, raining 21 days out of 30 for a total of 137 mm of precipitation compared to an average of 76 mm.

For photos of the flood see our Flickr photo gallery at Rome Floods of Dec 2008.