Five people have died after record-breaking rainfall produced floods in parts of Tuscany as Storm Ciaran pushed into Italy.
Residents were trapped in their homes, hospitals inundated and cars overturned in the deluge. It means 12 people have now died as a result of the storm in western Europe.
Italian Civil Protection authorities said nearly eight inches of rain fell in a three-hour period, from the city of Livorno on the coast to the inland valley of Mugello, and caused riverbanks to overflow.
Videos showed at least a dozen cars getting pushed down a flooded road.
Tuscany governor Eugenio Giani said five people died in the storm, which dumped an amount of rainfall not seen in more than a century.
“There was a wave of water bombs without precedence,” he told Italian news channel Sky TG24.
The dead in Tuscany included an 85-year-old man found in the flooded ground floor of his home near the city of Prato, north of Florence, and an 84-year-old woman who died while trying to push water out of her home in the same area.
The other victims were a couple who had been missing near the town of Vinci and a person in the province of Livorno.
At least one person was missing on Friday in Tuscany, along with an off-duty firefighter reported missing in the mountains of Veneto, north of Venice.
Other regions were on high alert and authorities warned that the storm was heading towards southern Italy.
Ciaran left at least seven people dead as it swept across Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany on Thursday. The storm devastated homes, caused travel mayhem and cut power to a vast number of people.
As the storm moved on, it left hospitals flooded in Italy’s Pisa and Mugello. Throughout Tuscany, train lines and roads were disrupted and schools were closed.
The mayor of Prato expressed shock at the force of the flood that devastated the city overnight. By early Friday, residents were working to clean the damage.
Elsewhere on the continent, Austria’s southern province of Carinthia, which borders Italy and Slovenia, saw wind and heavy rain on Thursday night leading to landslides, blocked roads and power cuts.
About 1,600 households were without electricity early Friday, the Austria Press Agency reported.
Meanwhile, Corsica in the Mediterranean faced unusually fierce winds of up to 87mph on Friday.
More than a half a million French households are without electricity for a second day, mainly in the western region of Brittany. Trains were halted in several areas and many roads remained closed.