Man dies in Italy rains as 2021 climate losses top $3 billion

Cars submerged in a flooded square in Catania, Sicily, after heavy rain hit the city, on Oct 26, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

ROME (AFP) - A man was killed on Sunday (Nov 14) on the Italian island of Sardinia after strong rains, with an agriculture group saying the weather had caused more that €2 billion (S$3 billion) of damage this year.

The body of the elderly man, who abandoned his car when it got stuck in floodwater, was found on Sunday afternoon after firefighters carried out a search.

He was likely carried away by the strong floods.

Also on Sunday, Italy's Coldiretti agricultural association said climate change was the cause of more than €2 billion of damage to rural areas since the start of this year.

There had been "1,914 extreme events" including floods, tornados, hail and heatwaves - "up 45 per cent from the same period in 2020".

The €2 billion of damage was split between losses to agricultural output and damage to countryside buildings and infrastructure, the group added.

"In Italy, too, we face the consequences of climate change," Coldiretti said, warning of increasingly frequent extreme weather as the country suffers "tropicalisation".

Find out more about climate change and how it could affect you on the ST microsite here.