The authorities are on alert as the river Tiber approaches flood level following persistent heavy rains. Soldiers are ready to intervene in the event of flooding and hospitals located along the river have put in place special emergency plans. Access to the river has been closed from Ponte Testaccio to Ponte Milvio in the city centre.

On 8 January the water level at the central Ripetta station was 10.50 m, compared to the usual 6.5 m or thereabouts. In Rome centre the river is expected to reach flood level on 10 or 11 January.

The Tiber last reached flood level on 13 December after a period of particularly heavy rain. On that occasion, the water level at Ripetta reached 12.55 m.

More storms and downpours are forecast over the weekend.