Europe: Very dangerous weather – ESTOFEX Storm Forecast: LEVEL 3! for parts of POLAND and W BELARUS Damaging wind gusts, large and very hail, excessive precipitation and SIGNIFICANT TORNADO EVENT. – Published 190715 1216z

Storm Forecast

Storm Forecast
Valid: Sun 19 Jul 2015 06:00 to Mon 20 Jul 2015 06:00 UTC
Issued: Sun 19 Jul 2015 00:01
Forecaster: TASZAREK

A level 3 was issued for parts of Poland and W Belarus mainly for the damaging wind gusts, large and very hail, excessive precipitation and significant tornado event.

A level 2 was issued for parts of Germany, Poland, Belarus, NW Ukraine and N Czech Republic mainly for the severe wind gusts, large hail, tornadoes and excessive precipitation.

A level 1 was issued for parts of S Finland and parts of Russia mainly for the large hail and severe wind gusts.

A level 1 was issued for parts of UK, Netherlands, S Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, N Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, W Hungary, Belarus and NW Ukraine mainly for the large hail, severe wind gusts and excessive precipitation.

A level 1 was issued for NE Spain mainly for the large hail and excessive precipitation.


Most of the Central, SW, S and SE Europe is covered with highly unstable warm and moist tropical air mass with dew points up to 20C. A ridge extending from Azores up to Iberian Peninsula inhibits convection in this region. Strong capping inversions are also present in the Apennine and most of the Balkan Peninsula. Weakening high is places over Black Sea while the numerous troughs are located over British Isles, Scandinavia and N Russia. Jet streak separating polar and tropical air mass is stretching from the N Atlantic trough England, N Germany and Poland up to Russia. Within this jet, a short-wave with thermal low is predicted to provide a good overlap of instability, moisture, lift and wind shear over parts of Germany, Poland and Belarus.


…Germany, Poland, Belarus, NW Ukraine…

Particularly severe weather is expected in the afternoon hours within the shortwave that will pass these countries in the forecast period and provide the great source of lifting mechanism. An overlap of SB CAPE exceeding 1000-2000 J/kg and DLS over 20-25 m/s in the large area extending from central Germany up to Poland is expected to produce widespread severe weather. Around noon, convection should start over Germany and most likely in the form of the supercell thunderstorms produce damaging wind gusts and large to very large hail. An increased 0-1km SRH over 100 m2/s2 and LLS exceeding 10 m/s cannot rule out tornado occurrence within these cells. In the afternoon hours CI should also take place in W Poland. Since these cells will form in the highly unstable (1500-2000 J/kg) and strongly sheared environment (DLS ~ 25 m/s, MLS ~ 20 m/s, LLS ~ 15 m/s, 0-3km SRH up to 300 m2/s2) with the support of the QG lift, an organized squall line is likely to form. It is likely that such a squall line will contain bow echos and the wind gusts within these may exceed 33 m/s. The transformation into derecho cannot be ruled out. Level 3 denote the area where according to the current understanding and NWP data the movement of this line is the most probable. However, models are not consistent with the direction of the MCS movement, some of them predicts propagation of the squall line to the Belarus, while some of them shifts the system more to the warm air mass. It is possible that an early-hours convection that will pass through N Poland may provide conditions more conducive for MCS turning more to the S. Due to these uncertainties, both scenarios are partially included in the level 3 area. Although the main threat are damaging wind gusts, conditions in the late afternoon hours (when the relative humidity will drop and thus the LCL) will be conducive for tornadoes, especially in the E Poland. An impressive overlap of 0-1km SRH ~ 400 m2/s2 with LLS ~ 12.5 m/s and CAPE ~ 1000 J/kg may result in a significant tornado event if isolated or embedded supercells will be present. These may be possible in the southern flank of the squall line. Within these storms very large hail is also possible. It is predicted that the MCS will enter Belarus and parts of Ukraine in the late evening hours and weaken, but still will be capable of producing severe wind gusts. If derecho will form, the system may be capable of producing damaging wind gusts also in the late evening hours, therefore level 3 is also extended to the parts of Belarus further east. Extreme values of PW (40-45 mm) may also result in a large precipitation amounts on the track of the MCS.

…parts of UK, Denmark, Netherlands, N Germany, Baltic Sea…

Although models predicts very large DLS over these areas (25-30 m/s) they are not as consistent with thermodynamic instability. Thunderstorms that will form within the short-wave may become supercells and create threat for the large hail and severe wind gusts. However, due to limited thermodynamic instability, limited boundary layers moisture content and rather low-topped convection, such a threat deserves only level 1.

…Germany, Switzerland, N Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, W Hungary, Belarus and NW Ukraine…

Locally enhanced DLS up to 15 m/s with CAPE up to 2000-2500 J/kg and rich boundary layer’s moisture (mixing ratio up to 12-13 g/kg) create threat for multicell and supercell thunderstorms where severe wind gusts and large hail are likely. DMC is forecast to start around noon and the storms should weaken in the late evening hours. In the areas where the storm motion is predicted to be very low (DLS below 10 m/s) excessive precipitation and local flash flooding cannot be ruled out, especially in the NW parts of the Italy.

…S Finland, parts of Russia…

Favorable overlap of DLS around 20 m/s and CAPE up to 400-600 J/kg create threat for supercell thunderstorms and thus severe wind gusts and large hail. Uncertainty related to CI, low thermodynamic instability, limited boundary layer’s moisture content and narrow zone where the CAPE overlaps with the favorable shear makes the threat marginal. The highest threat for the occurrence of severe weather falls on the early afternoon hours.

…NE Spain…

Low-level inflow of impressive rich boundary layer’s moisture content (mixing ratios up to 16-18 g/kg) overlapping with steep lapse rates (~ 7 C/km) locally will enhance CAPE values to 2000-2500 J/kg. If thunderstorms will be able to get through the cap, they may be capable of producing large hail. Since the storm motion in this area is predicted to be very low, given the high moisture content excessive precipitation cannot be ruled out.


See also >>>>

Mesoscale Discussion

Mesoscale Discussion
Valid: Sun 19 Jul 2015 11:00 to Sun 19 Jul 2015 14:00 UTC
Issued: Sun 19 Jul 2015 11:51

At 11 UTC a warm front was located along a line from near Leipzig to Poznan to Warsaw. An MCS / area of convective rain over NE Germany has created an outflow boundary that stretches from Berlin to Leipzig.

Along the warm front distinct surface convergence is taking place and low-level humidity is rather high with 18-21 C observed dew points. With 26-30 C surface temperatures, around 1000 – 1500 J/kg of MLCAPE should already be in place.

The Bayreuth, Lindenberg and Doksany profilers and Poznan radar confirm that 20-25 m/s WSW winds are in place at 3-4 km AGL, implying that strong to very strong wind shear is present.

Storms, probably elevated have formed in the Leipzig area and further south across the Czech Republic. It is expected that these storms will move eastward and become surface based. It is possible that storms will rather rapidly develop into a squall-line and that the wind risk will increase rather quickly.

In addition, more storms may form further to the east along the warm front after 13 UTC. Any isolated storms that manage to form will quickly turn into powerful supercells with a risk of large hail and severe wind gusts.

The high (about 300 m2/s2) SREH and anticipated strengthening low-level shear that is in place along and slightly to the north of the warm front suggests that tornadoes cannot be ruled out. However, in most places, the LCL height is rather high for tornadoes with T/Td spreads around 10 C, limiting this risk. An exception is a small area along the warm front where prior rainfall occurrs before the arrival of storms, cooling and moistening the boundary layer.


Up to 700 refugees feared dead after “worst massacre ever seen in the Mediterranean” (UN) – Major search & rescue op under way – Published 190415 1630z (GMT/UTC)


A ship carrying 700 migrants has capsized off the Libyan coast, the Italian news agency Ansa reported on Sunday, adding that many are feared dead.

Coastguard vessels rescued 28 people after the accident was reported around midnight, it said, giving no source for its report. The Times of Malta said migrants rushed to one side of the boat to alert a passing vessel, prompting the ship to capsize. The accident occurred some 200 kilometres south of the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Times of Malta reported. The rescue operation continues.

Sunday, 19 April, 2015 at 11:49 (11:49 AM) UTC RSOE

Other News Reports

Sky News

15:22, UK, Sunday 19 April 2015

Search As Hundreds Of Boat Migrants Feared Dead

The capsizing of a boat, with up to 700 people on board, may be the “worst massacre ever seen in the Mediterranean”, says the UN.

Hundreds of people are feared drowned after a fishing boat trying to smuggle migrants to Europe capsized off Libya, the UN refugee agency says.

A major search and rescue operation by air and sea is taking place after the vessel, with up to 700 on board, went down about 120 miles south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

It is believed to have overturned when migrants moved to one side of the overcrowded 20-metre long boat in a desperate bid to get off and be rescued as a merchant ship approached.

At least 28 people were saved in the Mediterranean, while there were other reports of 50 survivors.

The alarm was raised at about midnight and the Italian coastguard and navy are continuing to search for survivors.


Mediterranean migrants: Hundreds feared dead after boat capsizes

Media caption Aerial footage from the Italian coastguard shows recovery workers scouring Libyan waters

Hundreds of people are feared to have drowned after a boat carrying up to 700 migrants capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, the Italian coastguard says.

A major rescue operation is under way after the vessel, thought to be just 20m (70ft) long, capsized at midnight local time in Libyan waters south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

So far 28 people have been rescued and 24 bodies retrieved.

At least 900 other migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean this year.

The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, said the latest sinking could amount to the largest loss of life during a migrant crossing to Europe.

Live: Follow the latest developments

Italian naval and coastguard ships, the Maltese Navy and cargo vessels, along with three helicopters, are all involved in the rescue operation, 130 miles (210km) off the coast of Lampedusa and 17 miles (27km) from the Libyan coast.

The Italian coastguard’s spokesman told the BBC the operation was still focused on search and rescue, “but in time it will be a search [for bodies] only”.

Mediterranean migrants


Migrants rescued 10-17 April


Migrants died attempting the crossing between 1 Jan and 15 April

  • 31,500 Migrants have arrived from North Africa so far this year
  • 218,000 Estimated to have crossed the Mediterranean in 2014
  • 3,500 Migrants died attempting the crossing last year

The migrants reportedly fell overboard when they rushed to draw the attention of the passing Portuguese merchant ship King Jacob, causing their ship to capsize.

The Italian coastguard says the 28 survivors and 24 bodies are now on its vessel the Gregoretti.

Lampedusa is scrambling to react to the latest horror in the seas off its coastline. Much of the harbour has emptied. Coastguard, customs and fishing boats all left before dawn to help with the rescue.

Marta Bernardini works for the charity Mediterranean Hope, which is based on the island and works with migrants. She told the BBC: “We are very sad. It’s so difficult for us who live and work in Lampedusa every day, to know that a lot of people die in this way, in the Mediterranean Sea.”

Lampedusa is the most southerly point of Italy – nearer Africa than the Italian mainland. Locals say that since January – when the EU took control of patrolling Europe’s maritime borders – between 9,000 and 10,000 migrants have arrived on the island.

There are currently 1,000 migrants in a detention centre on Lampedusa – an island of 5,000 people.

Maltese PM Joseph Muscat said rescuers were “literally trying to find people alive among the dead floating in the water”.

Mr Muscat told the BBC: “What is happening now is of epic proportions. If Europe, if the global community continues to turn a blind eye… we will all be judged in the same way that history has judged Europe when it turned a blind eye to the genocide of this century and last century.”

Pope Francis expressed his “deepest sorrow” over the sinking and appealed to the international community to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Rescuers have so far found few bodies or survivors
An Italian coastguard official looks at the rescue area from the Rome operations room

“These are men and women like us who seek a better life. Hungry, persecuted, injured, exploited, victims of wars. They were looking for happiness,” he said.

It was the Pope’s second appeal in less than 24 hours. On Saturday, he backed a call by Italy for the EU to intervene to stop more lives from being lost.

The EU has been criticised for ending its maritime rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, last year. Some EU members said they could not afford it and expressed concerns that it was encouraging more migrants. The EU now runs a more limited border control operation called Triton.

While Mare Nostrum had a monthly budget of €9.5m ($10.3m; £9.6m) and covered much of the Mediterranean, Triton’s budget is less than a third of that at €2.9m ($3.1m), and its remit extends only into Maltese and Italian waters.

The migrants tried to get the attention of this passing Portuguese vessel
Pope Francis urged international leaders to act decisively to prevent further tragedies

The UNHCR said that migrant boats had carried 13,500 people into Italian waters last week alone.

Justin Forsyth, chief executive of aid group Save the Children, urged the EU to restart rescue operations.

“The scale of what is happening in the Mediterranean is not an accident, it is a direct result of our policy,” he said.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the recent wave of migrant boat disasters was “unacceptable”.

“We have said too many times ‘never again’. Now is time for the European Union as such to tackle these tragedies without delay,” she said.

EU foreign ministers will meet to discuss the migrant issue on Monday.

Last year, a record 170,000 people fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East made the perilous crossing to Italy. Thousands died making the journey.

Recent Mediterranean migrant disasters

Oct 2013: More than 360 people, mostly Eritreans and Somalis, die as their boat sinks off Lampedusa.

Sept 2014: At least 300 migrants drown off Malta when people smugglers ram a boat after its occupants refuse to move to a smaller one. Survivors said it was “mass murder”.

Feb 2015: At least 300 migrants feared drowned as four dinghies get into trouble after leaving Libyan coast in bad weather.

April 12, 2015: Some 400 migrants feared drowned after their vessel capsizes off Libya.

April 19, 2015: About 650 migrants feared drowned as boat capsizes in Libyan waters south of Lampedusa.

RTE News

EU plans meeting after 700 migrants drown off Libyan coast

Sunday 19 April 2015 15.07

1 of 2
Personnel in the control room room of the Italian Coast Guard in Rome help coordinate relief efforts
Personnel in the control room room of the Italian Coast Guard in Rome help coordinate relief efforts
A boat transporting migrants arrives in the port of Messina yesterday after a rescue operation at sea
A boat transporting migrants arrives in the port of Messina yesterday after a rescue operation at sea

The European Union said it is organising an urgent meeting of foreign and interior ministers after the latest migrant boat disaster in the Mediterranean was feared to have killed up to 700 people.

In a statement, the European Commission said: “For as long as there is war and hardship in our neighbourhood near and far, people will continue to seek a safe haven on European shores.

“And as long as countries of origin and transit do not take action to prevent these desperate trips, people will continue to put their lives at risk.”
Full story here:

Italy PM: Don’t leave us to deal with migrant crisis alone

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has urged other European countries not to leave his country alone in dealing with the increasing number of migrants being trafficked across the Mediterranean.

Speaking after a shipwreck which is estimated to have left hundreds of people dead, Renzi said Italy often works alone in saving migrants by both blocking trafficking from Libya and rescuing those that are left stranded at sea.

Last updated Sun 19 Apr 2015

Mediterranean: Major ‪rescue op: 1,000 migrants in 10 vessels in difficulty between island of Lampedusa & Libya’s coast – 130 saved so far – Published 150215 2330z (GMT/UTC)


Bid to save at least 1,000 migrants in Mediterranean

The Italian coastguard is conducting a major rescue operation to try to save more than 1,000 migrants in difficulty on the Mediterranean Sea.

Search teams have helped get at least 130 people to safety so far and are working to reach more, officials said.

There were reports that rescuers were threatened by armed men who approached them in a speedboat from the Libyan coast.

Earlier this week at least 300 migrants perished in the Mediterranean Sea

They had been travelling in dinghies which ran into trouble during stormy weather after leaving the coast of Libya.

Sunday’s rescue attempts took place in the seas south of the Italian island of Lampedusa, officials said.

Armed assailantsAccording to Italy’s Transport Ministry, four men with Kalashnikov rifles sped out from the Libyan shore during the rescue and ordered the coastguard to return a boat that had been emptied of migrants.

The UNHCR says almost 3,500 people died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in 2014, making it the world’s most dangerous sea crossing for migrants trying to enter the European Union.

More than 200,000 people were rescued during the same period.

Many were plucked from the sea as a result of an Italian operation known as Mare Nostrum, which was launched in October 2013 in response to a tragedy near Lampedusa in which 366 migrants died.

That operation has now ended, leading the UNHCR to warn EU leaders to expect more deaths.

Some European countries, including the UK, have said a rescue service for migrants could encourage refugees to continue making the crossing.

The EU now runs a border control operation with fewer ships, called Triton, which only covers waters close to Europe’s coast.



Europe: Euro-forecaster Estofex issues Level 2 Storm Forecast for N Italy – Published 290614 1700z

Storm Forecast

Forecast provided by ESTOFEX (Click image to go to source)

Storm Forecast
Valid: Sun 29 Jun 2014 06:00 to Mon 30 Jun 2014 06:00 UTC
Issued: Sun 29 Jun 2014 04:22
Forecaster: VAN DER VELDE

A level 2 was issued for N Italy mainly for severe convective wind gusts, large hail and excessive convective precipitation.

A level 1 was issued for parts of central Europe mainly for large hail.


The cold front associated with a large amplitude mid level trough from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Sea is pushing eastward through Italy and central Europe today. Surface level lows reside over southern Scandinavia and northern Italy. Cold airmass thunderstorms are likely over France, Benelux and western Germany. The prefrontal airmass over Italy is moderately unstable due to the presence of the Saharan Air Layer with steep mid level lapse rates and 10-12 g/kg moist boundary layer air. Strong winds in mid levels create a favorable kinematic environment for storms.


…Italy, southern Austria and western Balkan…

Some regional WRF models predict over 2500 J/kg SBCAPE over the Lgurian Sea. MLCAPE should be 1000-2000 J/kg. This will be capped south of the Po valley. Either way, given the 20 m/s deep layer shear and strong moisture lifting over the south slopes of the Alps triggering of supercells and MCSes is highly probable, with chances of widespread large to very large hail and severe wind gusts. During the evening as the cold front comes through, the model scenario (GFS, WRF) is that some discrete supercells or a linear system will also affect the area south of the Po valley. The area of Austria to Croatia will likely see the strongest moisture lift and largest storms, and can become affected by excessive convective rainfall, at least locally. The PV/dynamic tropopause intrusion acquires a negative tilt at night which might help to keep the storms active for long in the region near Slovenia, although WRF models keep the storms moving. Tornadoes are not ruled out with pre-Alpine 0-1 km shear of 8 m/s and locally higher.

…Hungary, N and E Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania…

Relatively modest MLCAPE should exist in a broad area from Hungary/Austria to the Baltics. The presence of 10-15 m/s deep layer shear could develop persistent and rotating updrafts which can locally release large hail. The frontal convergence zone in the Austrian-Hungarian-Czechian borders region should be the main focus for convective development, another is NE Poland and Lithuania near the occlusion.

…southern Sweden and Norway…

Some instability is present within the low. Low cloud bases and slow cell motion combined with good low-level buoyancy and convergence zones are found mainly over southern Sweden. Such conditions are favorable for spout type tornadoes and funnels.


Europe: ESTOFEX Storm Forecast: Level 2 for S Italy and Albania/Macedonia. Valid until Weds 180614 0600Z – Published 170614 1540z

Storm Forecast

Storm Forecast
Valid: Tue 17 Jun 2014 06:00 to Wed 18 Jun 2014 06:00 UTC
Issued: Mon 16 Jun 2014 23:01
Forecaster: GATZEN

A level 2 was issued for southern Italy and Albania/Macedonia mainly for large hail, severe wind gusts.

A level 1 was issued for northern Tunisia, central and southern Italy, Adriatic and northern Ionian Sea, northern Greece and southern Balkans into Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova mainly for large hail and severe wind gusts.

A level 1 was issued for eastern Iberia and the Gulf of Valencia mainly for large hail and severe wind gusts.


Atlantic high continues without a weakening tendency. Arctic air masses will spread into Scandinavia and western Russia at the eastern flank of this high. Polar air masses that have spread into most of Europe will warm in response to diurnal heating, and slightly decreasing moisture and lapse rates can be observed to the south-west of a new cold front that enters the Ukraine, Poland, and eastern Germany in the afternoon and evening hours. A few storms can develop especially below the axis of the long-wave trough from Germany across the Alps, southern France, into eastern Iberia.

Ahead of the long-wave trough, a west-south-westerly flow will establish from northern Tunisia to the Aegean and Black Sea region. An elevated mixed layer will spread into the east Mediterranean, affecting the Ionian and Aegean Sea. Weak frontogenesis to the south of Italy will additionally allow for moisture increase in the boundary-layer, but the capping inversion is forecast to remain quite strong.


Southern Italy and Adriatic, southern Balkans, Bulgaria and surroundings

Within the south-westerly jet, a jet streak ejects from the base of the long-wave trough and spreads across the east Mediterranean into Greece. Several vorticity maxima will travel into the forecast area on Tuesday.

The affected air mass is characterized by a rather cool boundary layer air mass with moisture pooling over some regions. Best moisture will evolve over southern Italy ahead of an approaching cold front as well as along a frontal boundary from Serbia to Bulgaria, where low-level convergence exists. Diurnal heating and increasing lapse rates will likely allow for CAPE during the day.

A few rounds of storms are expected to spread east on Tuesday, with widespread storms over central Italy and from the central Balkans to the Black Sea. With 20 m/s deep layer vertical wind shear, especially the southern regions will see well-organized storms, and supercells and bow echoes are forecast. Main threat will be large hail and severe wind gusts with these storms, although excessive rain and a tornado are not ruled out.

Further south, storm initiation is not that probable given the large inversion atop of the boundary-layer. Diurnal heating may support storms over southern Italy and parts of Greece, and some isolated supercells are forecast, capable of producing large hail. These storms may weaken after sunset.

Eastern Iberia

Along the sea-breeze convergence, easterly onshore-winds will allow for upslope flow and moisture advection over eastern Iberia. Steep lapse rates spreading east from the Iberian mountains will overlap with this moisture and CAPE is forecast. Initiation is most likely over the mountains and storms may move east later on. A capping inversion near the sea will likely limit the storm potential. However, near the sea-breeze convergence, 15 m/s deep layer vertical wind shear can support mesocyclones. Large hail will be possible with these storms as well as severe wind gusts, especially when storms will interact with deep boundary layers from the south-west. Convection is forecast to decay after sunset.

West Mediterranean

Near the base of the trough, rather rich low-level moisture and rather steep lapse rates will create some CAPE. Storms are forecast due to some low-level convergence and weal CIN. Given weak vertical wind shear, degree of organization will be weak over most places. Locally large hail and excessive precipitation are not ruled out with the slow moving storms. When clusters can develop, isolated wind reports are not ruled out as well.

The best potential for better storm organization exists south of the Balearic Islands. Stronger deep layer vertical wind shear is expected to support supercells or bow echoes, capable of producing large hail and severe wind gusts. The overall threat is rather weak, though, given the weak instability, low-level vertical wind shear, and lift.

Mesoscale Discussion

Mesoscale Discussion
Valid: Tue 17 Jun 2014 14:00 to Tue 17 Jun 2014 17:00 UTC
Issued: Tue 17 Jun 2014 14:39
Forecaster: PISTOTNIK

Convective initiation is currently concentrating along a seabreeze / upslope flow convergence over Central Italy. Coastal areas see dewpoints between 19 and 22C, which yields CAPE values between 1000 and 1500 J/kg according to the 12 UTC Brindisi and (modified) Pratica di Mare soundings.

In the Northern half of the area, deep-layer shear decreases and the background flow starts turning to the Northeast, pushing the convergence zone towards the West coast. Satellite imagery confirms some backbuilding multicells, which pose a risk of heavy rain and large hail.
Further South, storms are stationary or even moving Eastward, and deep-layer shear around 20 m/s beneath the mid-level jetstreak enables good organisation into multi- and supercells. Very low cloud bases and strong low-level shear in the sea breeze regime along the italian East coast hint at a remarkably enhanced tornado risk (refer to the recent Bari metars with 24/22C and Northeasterly surface winds around 7 m/s). Otherwise, large hail and severe wind gusts are possible, as well as flash flood producing rain in case of backbuilding.

Storms continue to travel eastward or form anew along a flow-parallel extension of this convergence line across the Southern Adriatic Sea into Northern Albania and Southern Montenegro. This pattern has already continued for 18 hours and has produced extreme flash floods in parts of Albania. This risk will still continue in the next hours. If stronger updrafts move onshore, all other kinds of severe weather are possible as well.



Italy: Sardinia hit by deadly Cyclone Cleopatra 17 dead; state of emergency declared – 191113 1350z

Italy – Current severe weather warnings (Meteoalarm)

Italy declares state of emergency in Sardinia after deadly cyclone

Submerged cars are seen on a flooded street in San Gavino Monreale on Sardina island November 18, 2013. REUTERS/Rosaspress

Submerged cars are seen on a flooded street in San Gavino Monreale on Sardina island November 18, 2013. REUTERS/Rosaspress

By James Mackenzie

“ROME (Reuters) – At least 17 people have been killed in flooding and hundreds made homeless after a cyclone swept over the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Italian authorities said on Tuesday.

The government declared a state of emergency after Cyclone Cleopatra dropped 450mm of rain in an hour and a half overnight, causing rivers to burst their banks, sweeping away cars and flooding homes across the island.

“This is a national tragedy,” Prime Minister Enrico Letta said.

The declaration of a state of emergency will allow resources to be freed up more quickly to reach devastated areas, with swathes of the island under muddy flood waters that covered cars and swamped houses.

The government also set aside 20 million euros ($27 million) in immediate emergency funds to help the rescue and clean-up work.

The mayor of Olbia, the northeastern Sardinian town among the worst-affected areas, said the sudden flooding had burst “like a bomb” with the same amount of water falling in 90 minutes as falls in the city of Milan in six months.

Mayor Gianni Giovannelli said houses across the area had been left half-submerged by the floods and rescuers were still searching for possible victims.

“We’ve just found a dead child we had been searching all night for,” he told SkyTG24 television.

Beyond the immediate casualties, the disaster raised questions about how well prepared Italy’s cash-strapped local governments, under increasing financial pressure after more than two years or recession, are to deal with sudden emergencies.

“We’re facing an exceptional event here which has put our system of territorial planning and management into crisis,” said Antonello Frau, deputy head of the island’s geological service.

“We really have to assess how we manage these situations, which are becoming more frequent.”


Flooding and landslides have been common in Italy, dominated in many areas by rugged mountain ranges.

However Legambiente, Italy’s main environmental group, said the disaster showed there was an urgent need to step up measures to handle floods and other disasters, a call backed by the national geological council.

It said more than 6 million Italians faced a potential risk from flooding but it said the risk had been made worse by reckless building, particularly in coastal areas.

“This is not just the fault of climate change,” the association’s president, Gian Vito Graziano, said in a statement.

The Red Cross said hundreds of people had been forced out of their homes and into temporary shelters set up in sports halls and other centres. Several bridges were swept away in Olbia and in the region near the central town of Nuoro.

“The situation is tragic,” regional governor Ugo Cappellacci told SkyTG24 television. “The hotels in Olbia are full of people who have had to escape, but there are thousands who have damage to their homes.”

($1 = 0.7394 euros)

(Additional reporting by Naomi O’Leary and Roberto Landucci; Editing by Angus MacSwan)”

Other Reports

Sardinia hit by deadly cyclone and flooding


(Video credit: News) The cyclone lashed Sardinia’s coast for many hours, as Alan Johnston reports

At least 17 people have been killed in flooding prompted by a cyclone and heavy rain that lashed the Italian island of Sardinia.

A number of people are reported missing after rivers burst their banks, sweeping cars away and causing bridges to collapse.

The worst-hit area appears to be in and around the north-eastern city of Olbia.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta has declared a state of emergency, speaking of a “national tragedy”.

BBC map showing Olbia, Calgiari and Arzachena in Sardinia

Mr Letta announced that 20 million euros (£16.8m, $27m) would be allocated immediately to emergency relief efforts, with soldiers deployed in the region.

“We are focusing on essential operations: saving human lives, assisting displaced people and clearing road access,” he said after an emergency cabinet meeting on Tuesday.


A Brazilian family of four drowned when their basement flat in the town of Arzachena, in the northern part of the island, filled with water. Two children were among the dead.

Three people died when a road bridge collapsed on to their car near Olbia, according to local media.

In a separate incident, a mother and her daughter were found dead in their car after it was swept away by floods.

Among the victims was a police officer who died after a bridge collapsed as he tried to escort an ambulance.

Hundreds of people across the Mediterranean island have been moved from their homes because of the flash flooding caused by Cyclone Cleopatra.

“We’re at maximum alert,” Giorgio Cicalo, an official from Sardinia’s civil protection authority, told Italy’s Rai TV.

“We haven’t seen a situation as extreme as this, perhaps for decades – especially because it’s been across the whole island.”


Reports say flood waters in some areas were up to 3m (10ft) high.

Sardinian Governor Ugo Cappellacci told Italian TV that the situation on the island was “dramatic”.

Meanwhile Olbia Mayor Gianni Giovanelli was quoted by Sky TG24 as saying that the city had been hit by an “apocalyptic”‘ storm.

Further bad weather is expected in the coming days

Some city residents used social media to offer shelter to those forced out of their homes.

The BBC Weather Centre says the flooding was caused by a deep area of low pressure that has been sitting over the Mediterranean, bringing sustained heavy rain.

The unstable conditions are expected move across Italy and further east, bringing further downpours and the threat of flooding, particularly in Venice.

The storm caused extensive damage to farms in Sardinia and disrupted a number of flights to and from mainland Italy.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has expressed “solidarity with the communities involved” and “heartfelt sympathy to the families of the many victims”.

Rescuers work on a flooded street in the town of Uras, Sardinia. Photo: 18 November 2013 Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes
Tankers are battered by gale winds and big waves off Cagliari. Photo: 18 November 2013 Ships were battered by gale winds and big waves off Cagliari
Flood water gushes down a street in Sardinia following a huge rainstorm Flood water gushed down roads and into homes
A rescue worker standing on wall overlooking flooded street with submerged cars after a cyclone brought severe flooding to Sardinia Rescue workers are looking for a number of people still reported missing


  • A cyclone is an area of low pressure
  • Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones are region-specific names for different sorts of cyclones
  • The term “cyclone” refers to the storm’s rotating winds
  • The only tropical cyclone recorded to have hit Europe was Hurricane Vince in 2005
  • Cyclone winds spin anti-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere

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Italy declares state of emergency in Sardinia after deadly floods 19th November 2013

(Video credit: NowWorldNews)

Published on Nov 19, 2013

Italian authorities have declared a state of emergency in Sardinia after a cyclone struck the Mediterranean island.

At least 16 people are known to have died and hundreds have been moved from their homes after winds of up to 125 kilometres an hour and sheets of rain brought devastation.
Several people are reported missing.

In the northeastern town of Olbia, the mayor said sudden flooding had burst “like a bomb”. The skies dumped as much rain in an hour as falls on Milan in six months, Gianni Giovanelli added.

The mayor said houses across the area had been left half submerged by the floods and rescuers were still searching for possible victims.

“We’ve just found a dead child we had been searching all night for,” he told Italian television.

A Brazilian family of four were reported drowned after their basement flat filled with water.

Elsewhere cars were swept away, homes were flooded and bridges collapsed as rivers burst their banks.

Italy’s prime minister Enrico Letta called it a “national tragedy”, saying the state of emergency meant extra resources would be made immediately available to reach affected areas.

Flights to and from mainland Italy were disrupted.The storm has been described as the worst for “decades”, with no part of Sardinia being spared.

(HD) Sardinia hit by deadly cyclone and flooding

(Video credit: derya4)

Italian (Translated by Google)

Italia : Sardegna colpita dal ciclone mortale Cleopatra 17 morti, stato di emergenza dichiarato – 191113 1350z

Italia – Avvisi di maltempo correnti ( Meteoalarm )

Italia dichiara lo stato di emergenza in Sardegna dopo ciclone mortale

ReutersBy James Mackenzie | Reuters

Auto sommerse sono visti in una strada allagata a San Gavino Monreale su Sardina isola 18 novembre 2013 . REUTERS / Rosaspress
Auto sommerse sono visti in una strada allagata a San Gavino Monreale su Sardina isola 18 novembre 2013 . REUTERS / Rosaspress

Una strada allagata è dipinto in San Gavino Monreale su Sardina isola 18 novembre 2013 . REUTERS / RosaspressView PhotoA strada allagata è dipinto in San Gavino Monreale su Sardina isola il 18 novembre …
I soccorritori tirano una barca lungo , Wade in una strada allagata a San Gavino Monreale in Sardegna, isola 18 Novembre 2013 . REUTERS / RosaspressView lavoratori PhotoRescue tirando una barca lungo , Wade in una strada allagata a San Gavino Monreale …
Un camion tenta di manovra lungo una strada allagata in giro Torpe vicino a Nuoro in Sardegna isola 18 nov 2013 . REUTERS / ANSA / Massimo LocciView PhotoA camion tenta di manovra lungo una strada allagata in giro Torpe vicino a Nuoro in Sardegna …

Di James Mackenzie
” ROMA ( Reuters ) – Almeno 17 persone sono state uccise in allagamenti e centinaia senza casa dopo un ciclone spazzato l’isola mediterranea della Sardegna , le autorità italiane hanno detto il Martedì .

Il governo ha dichiarato lo stato di emergenza dopo che il ciclone Cleopatra cadere 450 millimetri di pioggia in un’ora e mezza durante la notte , provocando fiumi hanno rotto gli argini , spazzando via le auto e le inondazioni case in tutta l’isola .

“Questa è una tragedia nazionale “, ha detto il primo ministro Enrico Letta .

La dichiarazione dello stato di emergenza consentirà di risorse da liberarsi in modo più rapido per raggiungere le zone devastate , con fasce di l’isola sotto le acque di inondazione fango che copriva le auto e le case allagate .

Il governo ha anche istituito da parte 20 milioni di euro ( 27 milioni dollari ) in fondi di emergenza immediate per aiutare il salvataggio e il lavoro di pulizia.

Il sindaco di Olbia , la città nord-orientale della Sardegna tra le aree più colpite , ha detto che l’improvviso allagamento era scoppiata ” come una bomba ” con la stessa quantità di acqua che cade in 90 minuti come cade nella città di Milano in sei mesi .

Il sindaco Gianni Giovannelli ha detto case in tutta l’area erano stati lasciati a metà sommersi dalle inondazioni e soccorritori erano ancora alla ricerca di possibili vittime .

“Abbiamo appena trovato un bambino morto che da tempo cercavamo per tutta la notte per , ” ha detto a SkyTG24 televisione .

Al di là delle vittime immediate , il disastro ha sollevato domande su quanto bene a corto di liquidi governi locali italiani preparati , sotto la crescente pressione finanziaria , dopo più di due anni o di recessione , sono per affrontare le emergenze improvvise .

” Siamo di fronte ad un evento eccezionale qui che ha messo il nostro sistema di pianificazione e gestione del territorio in crisi “, ha detto Antonello Frau , vice capo del servizio geologico dell’isola .

” Dobbiamo davvero a valutare come gestire queste situazioni , che stanno diventando sempre più frequenti . ”


Inondazioni e smottamenti sono stati comuni in Italia , dominato in molte aree da catene montuose .

Tuttavia Legambiente , principale gruppo ambientalista in Italia , ha detto che il disastro ha mostrato che vi era una necessità urgente di rafforzare le misure per gestire le inondazioni e altri disastri , una chiamata sostenuta dal Consiglio geologico nazionale .

Si dice di più di 6 milioni di italiani di fronte un potenziale rischio di inondazioni , ma ha detto che il rischio era stata aggravata da costruzione sconsiderata , soprattutto nelle zone costiere .

” Questo non è solo colpa del cambiamento climatico”, presidente dell’associazione , Gian Vito Graziano , ha detto in una dichiarazione.

La Croce Rossa ha detto che centinaia di persone erano stati costretti ad abbandonare le loro case e in rifugi temporanei creati in palestre e altri centri . Diversi ponti sono stati spazzati via in Olbia e nella regione vicino alla città centrale di Nuoro .

“La situazione è tragica , ” regionale governatore Ugo Cappellacci ha detto SkyTG24 televisione . ” Gli hotel di Olbia sono pieni di persone che hanno avuto a fuggire , ma ci sono migliaia di persone che hanno danni alle loro case . ”

($ 1 = 0,7394 )

( Segnalazione supplementare da Naomi O’Leary e Roberto Landucci ; Montaggio di Angus MacSwan ) ”
altre relazioni
Sardegna colpita dal ciclone mortale e allagamenti

BBC 19 Novembre 2013 Ultimo aggiornamento alle 11:50 Z ( GMT / UTC )

( Credito del video: News) Il ciclone sferzato coste della Sardegna per molte ore , come riporta Alan Johnston
Almeno 17 persone sono state uccise in inondazioni spinto da un ciclone e la pioggia che sferzava l’isola italiana di Sardegna.

Un certo numero di persone sono dato per disperso dopo fiumi hanno rotto gli argini , spazzando via le auto e causando il crollo di ponti .

La zona più colpita sembra essere in giro per la città a nord -est di Olbia .

Il primo ministro Enrico Letta ha dichiarato lo stato di emergenza , che parla di una ” tragedia nazionale ” .
BBC mappa che mostra Olbia , Calgiari e Arzachena in Sardegna

Sig. Letta ha annunciato che 20 milioni di euro ( £16.8m , $ 27m ) sarebbero assegnati immediatamente ad interventi d’emergenza , con i soldati dispiegati nella regione.

” Ci stiamo concentrando sulle operazioni essenziali : salvare vite umane , assistere le persone sfollate e di compensazione accesso stradale “, ha detto dopo una riunione di gabinetto d’emergenza il Martedì .


Una famiglia brasiliana di quattro annegati quando il loro piano seminterrato nel comune di Arzachena , nella parte settentrionale dell’isola , piena d’acqua. Due bambini sono stati tra i morti .

Tre persone sono morte quando un ponte stradale crollato per la propria auto nei pressi di Olbia , secondo i media locali .

In un altro incidente , una madre e sua figlia sono stati trovati morti nella loro auto dopo che è stato spazzato via dalle inondazioni .

Tra le vittime è stato un agente di polizia che è morto dopo un ponte crollato , mentre cercava di scortare un’ambulanza .

Centinaia di persone in tutta l’ isola mediterranea sono stati spostati dalle loro case a causa delle inondazioni lampo causato dal ciclone Cleopatra .

“Siamo in massima allerta , ” Giorgio Cicalo , un funzionario della Protezione Civile della Sardegna , ha detto a Rai TV in Italia .

” Non abbiamo visto una situazione estrema come questa , forse per decenni – soprattutto perch è passato attraverso tutta l’isola . ”

‘ Apocalittico ‘

I rapporti dicono le acque delle inondazioni in alcune aree sono stati fino a 3 m (10 piedi ) di altezza .

Sardo governatore Ugo Cappellacci ha detto TV italiana che la situazione sull’isola è stato ” drammatico ” .

Nel frattempo il sindaco di Olbia Gianni Giovanelli è stato citato da Sky TG24 come dire che la città era stata colpita da un ” apocalittico ” ‘ tempesta.

Ulteriore maltempo è atteso nei prossimi giorni

Alcuni residenti della città usato i social media per offrire rifugio a coloro costretti ad abbandonare le loro case.

Il Meteo Centro BBC dice che l’allagamento è stato causato da una profonda area di bassa pressione che è stato seduto sul Mediterraneo , portando sostenuta pioggia .

Le condizioni instabili dovrebbero muoversi in tutta Italia e più a est , portando ulteriori acquazzoni e la minaccia di inondazioni , soprattutto a Venezia.

La tempesta ha causato ingenti danni alle aziende agricole in Sardegna e ha interrotto una serie di voli da e per l’Italia continentale .

Presidente della Repubblica Italiana Giorgio Napolitano ha espresso ” solidarietà con le comunità coinvolte ” e ” sentito cordoglio alle famiglie delle numerose vittime ” .
I soccorritori lavorano su una strada allagata nel comune di Uras , Sardegna. Foto: 18 Nov 2013 Centinaia di persone sono state evacuate dalle loro case
Tankers sono battuto da venti di burrasca e grandi onde al largo di Cagliari . Foto: 18 nov 2013 navi sono state maltrattate da venti di burrasca e grandi onde al largo di Cagliari
Flood acqua sgorga in una strada in Sardegna a seguito di un enorme acqua Flood temporale sgorgava giù le strade e nelle case
Un soccorritore in piedi sul muro che si affaccia strada allagata con le automobili sommerse , dopo un ciclone ha portato gravi inondazioni di Sardegna I soccorritori sono alla ricerca di un numero di persone ancora dati per dispersi

Un ciclone è una zona di bassa pressione
Uragani , tifoni e cicloni tropicali sono nomi regionali specifici per i diversi tipi di cicloni
Il termine “ciclone ” si riferisce ai venti rotanti della tempesta
Il ciclone tropicale registrato solo per aver colpito l’Europa era l’uragano Vince nel 2005
Ciclone venti rotazione in senso antiorario nell’emisfero settentrionale e in senso orario nell’emisfero meridionale


Inondazioni mortali diffuse in tutta Italia
Profilo: Italia
Guida animata : Hurricanes

Italia dichiara lo stato di emergenza in Sardegna dopo le alluvioni del 19 mortale novembre 2013

( Credito del video: NowWorldNews )

Pubblicato il Nov 19, 2013

Le autorità italiane hanno dichiarato lo stato di emergenza in Sardegna dopo un ciclone ha colpito l’isola del Mediterraneo .

Almeno 16 persone sono noti per essere morto e centinaia sono stati spostati dalle loro case , dopo venti fino a 125 chilometri all’ora e fogli di pioggia ha portato devastazione .
Diverse persone sono date per disperse .

Nella città nord-orientale di Olbia , il sindaco ha detto improvviso allagamento era scoppiata ” come una bomba ” . I cieli dumping come molta pioggia in un’ora , come cade il Milan in sei mesi , Gianni Giovanelli aggiunto.

Il sindaco ha detto che le case in tutta l’area erano stati lasciati a metà sommerso dalle inondazioni e soccorritori erano ancora alla ricerca di possibili vittime .

“Abbiamo appena trovato un bambino morto che da tempo cercavamo per tutta la notte per “, ha detto alla televisione italiana .

Una famiglia brasiliana di quattro sono stati segnalati annegato dopo il loro piano seminterrato riempito d’acqua .

Altrove auto sono state spazzate via , le case sono state allagate e ponti crollati come fiumi hanno rotto gli argini .

Italia del primo ministro Enrico Letta ha definito una ” tragedia nazionale ” , dicendo che lo stato di emergenza significava risorse extra sarebbero resi immediatamente disponibili per raggiungere le zone colpite.

Voli da e per l’Italia continentale erano disrupted.The tempesta è stato descritto come il peggiore per ” decenni ” , con nessuna parte della Sardegna di essere risparmiato.
( HD ) La Sardegna colpita dal ciclone mortale e allagamenti

( Credito del video: derya4 )

Stormy weather in the Mediterranean

Official blog of the Met Office news team

The central and western Mediterranean will experience very unsettled conditions through the weekend and next week.

Very heavy rain is expected to affect the northeast of Spain, southern France, the Balearic Isles, Corsica, Sardinia, Italy and the Adriatic facing Balkan nations as the very unsettled conditions move slowly east through the region.

Rainfall totals could be as high as 250mm in places, with a risk of up to 200mm in 24 hours. The average rainfall for November in this region is between 50mm and 100mm.

The rain will be associated with thunderstorms which could also produce hailstorms, very strong gusty winds and the possibility of tornadoes in a few places.

In addition to the rain, very strong winds are expected through the central and western Mediterranean, with widespread gales and a risk of storm force winds for a time. This will lead to rough seas that could pose a threat to…

View original post 50 more words

Europe: ESTOFEX Storm Forecast: Level 2 for western Italy and east Adriatic coast mainly for excessive convective precipitation and tornadoes. Valid until Mon 111113 0600Z – Published 111113 1900z

(Scorrere verso il basso per la traduzione in italiano)(Scroll down for Italian translation)

European forecaster ESTOFEX has issued the following….

Storm Forecast



Storm Forecast
Valid: Sun 10 Nov 2013 06:00 to Mon 11 Nov 2013 06:00 UTC
Issued: Sun 10 Nov 2013 01:21
Forecaster: VAN DER VELDE


A level 2 was issued for western Italy and the east Adriatic coast mainly for excessive convective precipitation and tornadoes.

A level 1 was issued for Italy and west Balkan coast mainly for excessive convective precipitation, severe wind gusts and tornadoes.


A highly meridional flow pattern has developed over Europe. Cold air is transported with northerly winds over Western Europe into the Mediterranean while the eastern Atlantic is dominated by a vast warm sector of a low near Iceland. Over Italy a Genua Low develops rapidly as result of strong advection of potential vorticity over the Alps. It should deepen from 1008 hPa initially to 996 hPa by 03Z, by which time it shifted to central Italy.


…western Italy…

After 15Z, according to the GFS run of 18Z, a deep PV anomaly intrudes the Ligurian Sea. Various models indicate there is not a great amount of CAPE (<500 J/kg), but the strong forcing along the leading edge of the anomaly and cold front is thought to trigger a line of thunderstorms with a motion vector around 25 m/s. The primary risk would be severe wind gusts. There should be around 15 m/s deep layer shear which may generate some rotating updrafts. Over central Italy (land) friction of the strong flow creates more than 15 m/s low level shear but storm-relative winds do not look healthy for tornadic supercells. Waterspouts (tornadoes generated by spin-up of vertical vorticity) should occur in various places across the thunder/level 1 area, though. While storm motion seems fast, a threat of excessive convective rain is present as moist flow running into higher terrain should trigger new cells continuously, with backbuilding. As the PV anomaly slows down to install itself over the Tyrrhenean Sea during early Monday morning, southwestern Italy should see more stalled storms with excessive rain amounts. Because CAPE is a limiting factor, the level 2 might be somewhat optimistic.

…east Adriatic coast…

Particularly the high resolution WRF models develop persistent storms in the afternoon onwards, from Slovenia to Albania. Some should surf the flow over orography and the edge of the PV anomaly should linger parallel to the coast, helping regenerate instability and cyclogenesis over the northern Adriatic, increasing excessive rainfall chances. It appears that SREH is better due to more curvature in the low level hodograph which should aid supercells. Waterspouts are very likely, some may be of mesocyclonic origin.

…western Greece…

A plume of higher CAPE over 1000 J/kg advects over the Ionean Sea into Greece and a weak cold front after 18Z should allow triggering of storms, perhaps supercells given the better model hodographs. As buoyancy is stronger here with altitude, large hail seems more likely.

Italian (Translated by Google)

Europea meteorologo ESTOFEX ha rilasciato la seguente ….
Previsione tempesta


Previsione tempesta
Validi: dom 10 novembre 2013 06:00 alle Lun 11 Nov 2013 06:00 UTC
Rilasciato : Sun 10 Nov 2013 01:21
Sulle previsioni : VAN DER VELDE

A livello 2 è stato rilasciato per l’Italia occidentale e la costa orientale adriatica soprattutto per eccessiva precipitazione e trombe d’aria convettivo .

Un livello 1 è stato emesso per l’Italia e la costa occidentale dei Balcani principalmente per eccessiva precipitazione convettiva , gravi raffiche di vento e trombe d’aria .


Un modello di flusso altamente meridionale si è sviluppato in Europa . L’aria fredda viene trasportata con venti settentrionali in Europa occidentale nel Mediterraneo , mentre l’Atlantico orientale è dominata da un vasto settore caldo di una bassa vicino Islanda . Nel corso Italia a Genova Low sviluppa rapidamente come risultato della forte avvezione di vorticità potenziale sulle Alpi . Dovrebbe approfondire dal 1008 hPa inizialmente a 996 hPa da 03Z , momento in cui si è spostata al centro Italia .


occidentale … Italia …

Dopo 15Z , secondo il run GFS 18Z di una profonda anomalia PV intromette sul Mar Ligure. Vari modelli indicano che non vi è una grande quantità di CAPE ( < 500 J / kg) , ma il forte forzando lungo il bordo di entrata della anomalia e fronte freddo è pensato per innescare una linea di temporali con un vettore di movimento di circa 25 m / s . Il rischio principale sarebbe grave raffiche di vento . Ci dovrebbe essere intorno ai 15 m / s strato profondo taglio che può generare alcuni correnti ascensionali rotanti. Il centro Italia ( terra ), l’attrito del flusso forte crea più di 15 m / s di taglio basso livello ma tempesta relativi venti di non guardare sano per supercelle tornadic . Trombe marine ( trombe d’aria generate da spin- up di vorticità verticale) devono avvenire in diversi luoghi in tutto il tuono / livello 1 zona , però. Mentre movimento temporale sembra veloce , una minaccia di eccessiva pioggia convettiva è presente come flusso umido in esecuzione in un terreno più elevato dovrebbe innescare nuove cellule in continuo , con backbuilding . Come l’ anomalia PV rallenta di installarsi sul Mar Tirreno durante Lunedi mattina presto , sud-ovest Italia dovrebbe vedere le tempeste più bloccata con eccessive quantità di pioggia . Perch CAPE è un fattore limitante , il livello 2 potrebbe essere un po ‘ ottimista.

est … costa adriatica …

In particolare i modelli ad alta risoluzione WRF sviluppano tempeste persistenti nei pomeriggio in poi , dalla Slovenia all’Albania . Alcuni dovrebbero navigare flusso sopra orografia e il bordo della anomalia fotovoltaico dovrebbe soffermarsi parallelo alla costa , aiutando rigenerare instabilità e ciclogenesi sull’Adriatico settentrionale , l’aumento delle precipitazioni eccessive possibilità . Sembra che SREH è migliore grazie alla maggiore curvatura nella odografo basso livello che dovrebbe aiutare supercelle . Trombe marine sono molto probabilmente , alcuni possono essere di origine mesocyclonic .

occidentale … Grecia …

Un pennacchio di maggiore CAPE oltre 1000 J / kg advects sul Mar Ionio in Grecia e di un fronte freddo debole dopo 18Z dovrebbe consentire l’attivazione di tempeste , forse supercelle in virtù delle migliori hodographs modello . Come galleggiabilità è più forte qui con l’altitudine , grandine di grandi dimensioni sembra più probabile .

Europe: ESTOFEX Storm Forecast: Level 1 for parts of France, Benelux, Germany, Italy and Iberia valid until 241013 0600Z. Tornadoes, Heavy rain and hail possible – 231013 1348z

Storm Forecast

Storm Forecast
Valid: Wed 23 Oct 2013 06:00 to Thu 24 Oct 2013 06:00 UTC
Issued: Tue 22 Oct 2013 21:15
Forecaster: PUCIK

A level 1 was issued for Central France, BENELUX and Northwestern Germany mainly for tornadoes and severe wind gusts.

A level 1 was issued for Southern France and Northern Italy mainly for excessive precipitation and tornadoes.

A level 1 was issued for Western Iberia mainly for excessive precipitation.


General macrosynoptic pattern will remain more or less the same as during the previous days – a broad southwesterly flow is forecast over much of Western and Central Europe situated between deep trough over the Atlantic and ridge over Eastern Europe. This trough will translate towards northeast, slightly de-amplifying the ridge but no major reconfiguration is expected. Unseasonably warm airmass has spread all the way up to Southern Scandinavia, while a weak CAA is expected behind the insignificant cold front that will move from France towards Germany. Another significant trough will approach the Iberian penninsula towards the Thursday morning hours.


… Central, NE France, BENELUX, NW Germany …

With cooler, moist airmass overspreading the region, low LCLs are forecast. Only moderately steep mid-level lapse rates will very likely limit the instability build-up, so that only few hundreds J/kg of CAPE are expected at best. Strong, unidirectional wind shear is simulated, with much of the shear within the lowest 1 km, yielding LLS values between 10-15 m/s in the region. With the belt of enhanced PV approaching the area, scattered DMC will initiate. In the strong shear regime, low-topped supercells are well possible, capable of severe wind gusts, tornadoes or some mostly sub-severe hail.

… S France, N / NW Italy ….

In the strong southwesterly flow, a belt of steep mid-level lapse rates is forecast to advect over the Mediterranean Sea along with moist low-level airmass. Moist flow experiencing uplift near the coastline or near the Alps will likely initiate widespread DMC – possibly featuring one or more MCS. In case of the training pattern, moist conditions might enhance precipitation efficiency and locally excessive rainfall is expected. Threat will shift from Southern France towards Northern Italy. MCS will likely start building southwards towards the unstable airmass during the Wednesday night hours. Enhanced low level shear near the coastline along with low cloud bases also point at the elevated tornado risk in the region, albeit this threat should be less prominent than the precipitation risk.

… W Iberia …

During the late afternoon / evening hours, tongue of moist and unstable airmass ahead of the trough is expected to initiate widespread DMC near the coastline. With strong low level convergence and enhanced mixing ratios, isolated excessive precipitation event is quite possible. Tornadoes can not be ruled out in this setup with stronger low level shear inland, albeit CAPE here will be likely mostly elevated, thus possibly rendering this shear ineffective.


Severe Weather Warnings for Europe. Orange Alerts for Switzerland, France, Italy and Netherlands

Turkey/Greece/Italy/Slovenia/Croatia: Severe Weather including Tornado risk. ESTOFEX Storm Forecast: Levels 1 & 2 issued. Valid 161013 0600Z -171013 0600Z – Published 151013 2220z

Storm Forecast

European forecaster, ESTOFEX has issued the following forecast for severe weather:



Storm Forecast
Valid: Wed 16 Oct 2013 06:00 to Thu 17 Oct 2013 06:00 UTC
Issued: Tue 15 Oct 2013 21:51
Forecaster: PUCIK

A level 2 was issued for Southwestern Turkey mainly for excessive precipitation, tornadoes and to the lesser extent for large hail and severe wind gusts.
A level 1 was issued for Northwestern Turkey and Western Greece mainly for excessive precipitation and tornadoes.

A level 1 was issued for parts of Italy, Slovenia and Northern Croatia mainly for severe wind gusts and to the lesser extent for tornadoes.


A strong zonal flow is forecast over much of Western and Central Europe in conjunction with the disturbance ariving from the Atlantic. Ahead of the disturbance, ridge will translate towards Central Europe. Northwesterly flow aloft should accelerate the movement of cut-off low, centered over the Czech Republic as of Wednesday morning, towards the Aegean region. Strong jet-streak is forecast to develop on its southwestern flank, yielding strong forcing in its exit region. This cut-off low and its influence on the Mediterranean region regarding the DMC occurence will become the primary issue to deal with this forecast period.


… Southwestern Turkey …

A tongue of moist airmass is forecast to reach the region, along with a band of steep mid-level lapse rates. ECMWF is particularly optimistic regarding the latent instability build-up, showing CAPE values above 2000 J/kg for the coastal areas! Region of high latent instability will shift slowly eastwards, in accordance with the advection of steep lapse-rates. Even though isolated to scattered storms might form along the coastline even during the day, the main timeframe of severe weather risk should be between 00 and 06 UTC. Low-level wind field is expected to strengthen with the arrival of the mid-level / upper-level forcing and formation of the surface low over the northern Aegean. Forecast soundings show very moist low levels, moderate CAPE and most importantly, pronounced veering and increase of low-level winds with height, yielding long, semi-circular hodographs. A full facet of severe weather types is possible – while more isolated storms might attain supercellular characteristics, capable of tornadoes, severe wind gusts and large hail, it is very likely that a large MCS will form. Effective PW values should be high and with strong low-level flow, excessive rainfall events are well possible with such MCS, besides an isolated event of severe wind gusts. Threat will likely continue well into the next forecast period and Level 2 seems to be warranted due to the combination of more severe threats.

… Western Greece / Northwestern Turkey …

These areas are not going to have as favourable conditions as SW Turkey, but still, strong forcing will provide more than enough compensation for lack of higher CAPE values, so that MCS propagating SE-wards will be likely, especially in the late evening / night hours. With enhanced LLS, isolated tornado event is not ruled out, albeit the primary threat should be in the form of excessive precipitation.

… Northeastern / Eastern Italy, Slovenia, Northern Croatia …

A brief window around 12 / 15 UTC will exist for the development of DMC in the very cold mid-level airmass. With jet-streak above the area, very strong DLS is forecast to overspread an area of marginal latent instability. Primary question is whether updrafts can get sustained in the environment of strong storm relative winds along with significant drying at mid-levels. A very conditional Level 1 is issued for the possibility of low-topped supercells capable of severe wind gusts and/or tornadoes (moist low levels and enhanced shear in the lowest 1 km).

Albania/Algeria/Tunisia/Mediterranean/Italy/Greece: Severe Weather including Tornado risk.ESTOFEX Storm Forecast: Levels 1 & 2 issued. Valid 101013 0600Z -111013 0600Z – Published 091013 2310z

Storm Forecast

European forecaster, ESTOFEX has issued the following forecast for severe weather:

Storm Forecast
Valid: Thu 10 Oct 2013 06:00 to Fri 11 Oct 2013 06:00 UTC
Issued: Wed 09 Oct 2013 22:39
Forecaster: GATZEN


A level 2 was issued for western Albania and surroundings mainly for excessive precipitation.

A level 1 was issued for northern Algeria and Tunisia mainly for large hail and severe wind gusts.

A level 1 was issued for the central Mediterranean from Tunisia across southern Italy to the southern Adriatic and Greece mainly for excessive precipitation and tornadoes and to a lower extend large hail and severe wind gusts.

A level 1 was issued for the northern Adriatic and surroundings mainly for excessive precipitation, large hail, severe wind gusts, and tornadoes.


An intense cut-off process is underway at the eastern flank of an Atlantic ridge. At the end of the forecast period, a closed low will be centred across France. This will be associated with a westerly to south-westerly flow across the Mediterranean and warm air advection especially in the eastern portions. Across eastern Europe, a weak trough will move north-eastward.


Algeria to Sicily and Greece

Increasing warm air advection is expected across the area due to south-westerly flow in the wake of a lifting trough moving north-east into eastern Europe. An elevated mixed layer will spread north-east across the south Mediterranean Sea. The low-level mixing ratio will increase in the capped maritime boundary-layer due to the warm sea surface temperature. The plume of rich boundary-layer moisture will advect northward with the low-level flow, leaving the area of the strong inversion.

Additionally, several jet streaks will travel east along the 20 m/s jet stream that will provide QG lift from Algeria towards Greece.

Current thinking is that another round of frequent convective activity will affect the area until Friday morning. Storms will likely organize given the strong deep layer vertical wind shear, and mesoscale convective systems may move east or northeast.

The main threat will be excessive rain through-out the period as the storms will affect the same area along the warm air advection regime from Sicily to Greece for a longer time. Additionally, the high moisture will increase the chance of intense downdrafts. The western coasts and mountain areas are most at risk due to upslope flow where a level 2 was issued.

An additional risk are tornadoes due to locally large low-level hodographs together with strong low-level buoyancy near the coasts. Isolated severe wind gusts and large hail are mostly expected across Algeria and Tunisia during the afternoon and evening hours.

Northern Adriatic and surroundings

Strong QG lift is expected ahead of the European cut-off low that will spread into the northern Adriatic late in the period. Given the rather most and warm boundary-layer ahead of the cold front, CAPE is forecast and thunderstorms will likely form especially in the evening and night hours. As vertical wind shear will be strong, storm will quickly organize and supercells and multicells capable of producing large hail and severe wind gusts are forecast. Additionally, excessive precipitation is expected especially in the eastern portions of the area. Near the Adriatic Sea, tornadoes may also occur given the strong low-level vertical wind shear.”


Meteoalarm – severe weather warnings for Europe

Italy: Tornado risk & Thunderstorms across Napoli, Taranto and Bari. Waterspouts spotted – 270813 1800z

There are lots of thunderstorms in Italy, across Napoli, Taranto and Bari. Heavy rainfall, (large) hail and severe wind gusts are the main threats. An isolated tornado event or waterspout event can’t be ruled out. Keep an eye on the radar. – StormhunterNL

Roma – Trombe marine sul mare di Anzio (27 Agosto 2013)

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Published on Aug 27, 2013

Due trombe marine si sono unite sul mare di Anzio (ROMA)

Two waterspouts were joined on Anzio (Rome)

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Tromba di aria sul mare di Portici

20 AUG 2013 – ITALY: Non-mesocycl. TORNADO over water (WATERSPOUT) observed over Golfo di Napoli, near Portici, S of Napoli (Naples). Impressive video –

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Weather warnings (meteoalarm): Italy




Italy: Tornado in central Sicily 14 August 2013 (Video) – 140813 2103z

Italy: Tornado in central Sicily 14 August 2013 (Video) – 140813 2103z

Published by 14/08/2013 21:11

(Translation by Google)
In the late afternoon a tornado struck the countryside of Sicily, between Enna and Catenanuova, in one of the warmer parts of Europe, along a section of the Palermo-Catania.
Here’s the video of the event taken by a motorist passing on the highway.

(Video credit: MeteoWebTV)
The area is sparsely populated and at the time there were no damages.
Sicily is historically in Europe, the region that has seen the most devastating tornado, or at least they have produced more victims. In December of 1851 there were about 500 victims of two tornadoes in Messina.

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Italy: 100 Dolphins in Measles epidemic, washed up dead along Italian coast – 230413 1155z

Scientists believe that more than 100 dolphins washed up dead along the Italian coast were struck down by a killer strain of measles.

(Photo: Striped Dolphin

A total of 101 dolphin carcasses have been counted on the west coast of Italy since the beginning of the year. All are the same species – striped dolphins which have a distinctive blue and white pattern and grow to about eight feet long. They usually live for 50 or 60 years. The bodies have appeared on beaches spanning more than half the western coastline of Italy, from Tuscany to Calabria, as well as the island of Sicily – which suggests that the problem is not caused by humans pollutants such as oil. Instead the deaths are being attributed to a possible outbreak of Morbillivirus, the virus that causes measles in humans, which scientists believe created a gateway for other illnesses among the animals.

(Image: The bodies have been found all along the Italian coast, from Tuscany in the north to Sicily in the south

Thirty-five per cent of the corpses tested positive for dolphin measles, Italy’s Ministry for the Environment said. A statement from the ministry read: ‘At the moment the suspected cause of the mass cetacean deaths is measles (morbillivirus delphini) and the bacterium Photobacterium damselae. ‘The deaths could be caused by food shortages which weaken the animal making them more easily exposed to diseases and parasites.’ A similar epidemic decimated Spanish dolphin populations between 2006 and 2008. The current strain has mostly affected young dolphins between the age of 15 and 20, who have not come across the disease before. Animals born after a 1990-92 epidemic are devoid of the antibodies needed to defend them against the disease, scientists said.

None of the dead dolphins had food in their stomachs, which suggests that they may have starved to death because the virus left them weakened. Overfishing which has left the Mediterranean with sparse reserves of dolphin prey could also be a factor, the government agency said. Striped dolphins feed on small prey including hake, cuttlefish, squid, mackerel and sole, all species subject to intensive fishing. The species is found in all the world’s tropical oceans. They are very sociable, travelling in large pods which can include hundreds of dolphins and are among the most acrobatic breeds. There are thought to be around two million striped dolphins in the world.


Morbillivirus is a type of virus that causes serious disease in several species of animals and in people. Distemper in dogs and rinderpest in cattle are caused by different morbilliviruses. Measles (rubeola) is a generally less severe morbillivirus-induced disease of people, although this morbillivirus caused many fatalities prior to the age of modern medicine. An important feature of morbillviruses is their ability to cause major epidemics when populations without immunity are exposed. A large proportion of the canine population died when canine distemper entered Europe 200 years ago. Rinderpest, otherwise known as the “cattle plague”, has caused epidemics of biblical proportions. Furthermore, one half to two thirds of the native population died when measles was introduced into various areas of the New World in the 1500s. There have been several major die-offs among marine mammals caused by morbilliviruses in recent years. Baikal seals in Lake Baikal (1987), harbor seals in northwestern Europe (1988), and striped dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea (1990) have all been affected by separate morbillivirus epidemics. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association recently implicated morbillivirus infection as the primary cause of the 1987-1988 U. S. Atlantic coast bottlenose dolphin die-off. In each of these events, thousands of animals are believed to have died.

Blixenkrone-Moller M., G. Bolt, E. Gottschalck and M. Kenter. 1994. Comparative analysis of the gene encoding the nucleocapsid protein of dolphin morbillivirus reveals its distinct evolutionary relationship to measles virus and ruminant morbilliviruses. Journal of General Virology 75:2829-2834.

Blixenkrone-Moller, M., G. Bolt, T. D. Jensen, T. Harder and V. Svansson. 1996. Comparative analysis of the attachment protein gene (H) of dolphin morbillivirus. Virus Research 40:47-56.

Domingo, M., L. Ferrer, M. Pumarola, A. Marco, J. Plana, S. Kennedy, M. McAliskey and B. K. Rima. 1990. Morbillivirus in dolphins. Nature 348:21.

Duignan, P. J., et. al. 1995a. Morbillivirus infection in two species of pilot whales (Globicephala sp.) from the western Atlantic. Marine Mammal Science 11:150- 162.

Duignan, P. J., et. al. 1995b. Morbillivirus infection in cetaceans of the western Atlantic. Veterinary Microbiology 44:241-249.

Duignan, P. J. et. al. 1996. Morbillivirus infection in the bottlenose dolphins: Evidence for recurrent epizootics in the western Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Mammal Science 12:499-515.

Kennedy, S., J. A. Smyth, P. F. Cush, M. McAliskey, D. Moffett, C. M. McNiven and M. Carole. 1992. Morbillivirus infection in two common porpoises (Phocoena phocoena ) from the coasts of England and Scotland. Veterinary Record 131:286- 290.

Kraft, A., J. H. Lichy, T. P. Lipscomb, B. A. Klaunberg, S. Kennedy and J. K. Taubenberger. 1995. Postmortem diagnosis of morbillivirus infection in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico epizootics by polymerase chain reaction-based assay. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 31:410-415.

Lipscomb, T. P., F. Y. Schulman, D. Moffett and S. Kennedy. 1994 a. Morbillivital disease in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Gulf of Mexico . Journal of Wildlife Diseases 30:567-571.

Osterhaus, A. D. M. E., I. K. G. Visser, R. L. deSwart, M-F. Van Bressem, M. W. G. Van de Bildt, C. Orvell, T. Barrett and J. A. Raga. 1992. Morbillivirus threat to Mediterranean monk seals? Veterinary Record 130:141-142.

Osterhaus, A. D. M. E., R. L. de Swart, H. W. Vos, P. S. Ross, M. J. H. Kenter and T. Barrett. 1995. Morbillivirus infection of aquatic mammals: Newly infected members of the genus. Veterinary Microbiology. 44:219-227.

Van Bressem, M-F., K. Van Qaerbeek, M. Flemming and T. Barrett. 1998. Serological evidence of morbillivirus infection in small cetaceans from the southeast Pacific. Veterinary Microbiology 2:89-98.

Van Bressem, M-F. and T. Barrett. 1998. Further insight on the epidemiology of the cetacean morbillivirus in the northeastern Atlantic. Marine Mammal Science 14(3):605-613.

Visser, I. K. G., et. al. 1993. Characterization of morbilliviruses isolated from dolphins and porpoises in Europe. Journal of General Virology 74:631-641.” – DOLPHIN RESEARCH CENTER, 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019

Tuesday, 23 April, 2013 at 03:04 (03:04 AM) UTC RSOE


Striped dolphin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


RED CROSS (ICRC) anniversary 17 Feb 2013: 150 years of humanitarian action in the midst of armed conflict – 150213 1920z

Geneva (ICRC) On 17 February, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will mark its 150th anniversary and commemorate the beginning of its efforts to bring relief to millions and improve the lives of countless people adversely affected by armed conflict.

At a time when people are suffering the agonies of war in Syria, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere, the ICRC is more determined than ever to carry on with its humanitarian mission.

This anniversary provides us with an opportunity to look critically at our past, and also to develop awareness of the strengths that have helped us in our activities carried out for millions of victims of armed conflict and other violence, said Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC. Now more than ever, we must not only remain true to our principles but also search for new ways to better serve the people who need help. We must redouble our efforts to make sure that the neutral, impartial and independent nature of our humanitarian activities is understood by all.

150 years of humanitarian action website

The activities of the ICRC and of the entire International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement began on fields of battle, where wounded soldiers were cared for no matter who they were or which side they belonged to.

On 17 February 1863 five Swiss citizens gathered in Geneva to create an international committee for relief to the wounded, which in 1875 was renamed the International Committee of the Red Cross. The ICRC is now one of the largest international humanitarian organizations, with almost 13,000 staff working in behalf of the victims of armed conflict and other violence in 92 countries.

The Red Cross story that began 150 years ago is not only the story of the Red Cross itself it is also, in fact mainly, the story of people who suffer the effects of war and other violence, and of what can and should be done to help them.

The ICRC continues to adapt to new forms of armed conflict and to a number of challenges confronting humanitarian activities. We are carrying on with our work in an environment that is being shaped by the use of new weapons and technologies, the proliferation of armed groups, the difficulty of obtaining access to people requiring aid, and a plethora of NGOs and other humanitarian organizations endeavouring to serve communities with competing approaches, said the ICRC president.

Together with our partners within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the broader humanitarian community, we must seek ways of meeting these challenges, said the ICRC president. We have to better coordinate humanitarian efforts, and pay very careful attention to the opinions of those we are seeking to help and give them the opportunity to play an active role in these efforts, the ultimate aim of which is to enable people in need to achieve a lasting recovery.

The biggest challenge facing the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations is a lack of respect for international humanitarian law, which prohibits violence directed against people who are not involved in armed conflict, like children, the wounded or sick, or detainees. The need for a strong political will to spare civilians and otherwise comply with international humanitarian law, whether on the part of States or of non-State armed groups, has never been greater, said Mr Maurer.

Many of the ICRCs everyday activities now have far-reaching effects. When ICRC delegates visit detainees in Guantanamo, or facilitate the release of hostages in Colombia, or help people in Afghanistan obtain health care in safe conditions, or provide the maintenance and technical know-how that keep the water and electricity networks up and running in Goma, a city of half a million people, or push for a binding international treaty on cluster munitions, they have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of many people, said Mr Maurer.

The vision of Henry Dunant the Red Cross idea has not only survived but flourished through all these long years, said Mr Maurer. Over the past century and a half, the ICRC has overcome political adversity, financial difficulty, cultural barriers and countless other obstacles, even attacks on its own staff to bring vitally needed humanitarian assistance and protection to people in need. Once quite small with an entirely Swiss staff, the ICRC now performs its humanitarian tasks in over 90 countries all over the world, and has a workforce of almost 13,000 men and women of over 100 different nationalities. ICRC

Jean Henri Dunant


Jean Henri Dunant (May 8, 1828 – October 30, 1910), also known as Henry Dunant, was a Swiss businessman and social activist. During a business trip in 1859, he was witness to the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in modern day Italy. He recorded his memories and experiences in the book A Memory of Solferino which inspired the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863. The 1864 Geneva Convention was based on Dunants ideas. In 1901 he received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with FrÃdÃric Passy.

Early life and education

Dunant was born in Geneva, Switzerland, the first son of businessman Jean-Jacques Dunant and Antoinette Dunant-Colladon. His family was devoutly Calvinist and had significant influence in Geneva society. His parents stressed the value of social work, and his father was active helping orphans and parolees, while his mother worked with the sick and poor. His father worked in a prison and an orphanage.

Dunant grew up during the period of religious awakening known as the RÃveil, and at age 18 he joined the Geneva Society for Alms giving. In the following year, together with friends, he founded the so-called Thursday Association, a loose band of young men that met to study the Bible and help the poor, and he spent much of his free time engaged in prison visits and social work. On November 30, 1852, he founded the Geneva chapter of the YMCA and three years later he took part in the Paris meeting devoted to the founding of its international organization.

In 1849, at age 21, Dunant was forced to leave the CollÃge Calvin due to poor grades, and he began an apprenticeship with the money-changing firm Lullin et Sautter. After its successful conclusion, he remained as an employee of the bank.


In 1853, Dunant visited Algeria, Tunisia, and Sicily, on assignment with a company devoted to the colonies of Setif (Compagnie genevoise des Colonies de SÃtif). Despite little experience, he successfully fulfilled the assignment. Inspired by the trip, he wrote his first book with the title An Account of the Regency in Tunis (Notice sur la RÃgence de Tunis), published in 1858.

In 1856, he created a business to operate in foreign colonies, and, after being granted a land concession by French-occupied Algeria, a corn-growing and trading company called the Financial and Industrial Company of Mons-DjÃmila Mills (SociÃtà financiÃre et industrielle des Moulins des Mons-DjÃmila). However, the land and water rights were not clearly assigned, and the colonial authorities were not especially cooperative. As a result, Dunant decided to appeal directly to French emperor NapolÃon III, who was with his army in Lombardy at the time. France was fighting on the side of Piedmont-Sardinia against Austria, who had occupied much of todays Italy. Napoleons headquarters were located in the small city of Solferino. Dunant wrote a flattering book full of praise for Napoleon III with the intention to present it to the emperor, and then traveled to Solferino to meet with him personally.

The Battle of Solferino

Dunant arrived on Solferino on the evening of June 24, 1859, on the same day a battle between the two sides had occurred nearby. Thirty-eight thousand wounded, dying and dead, remained on the battlefield, and there appeared to be little attempt to provide care. Shocked, Dunant himself took the initiative to organize the civilian population, especially the women and girls, to provide assistance to the injured and sick soldiers. They lacked sufficient materials and supplies, and Dunant himself organized the purchase of needed materials and helped erect makeshift hospitals. He convinced the population to service the wounded without regard to their side in the conflict as per the slogan Tutti fratelli (All are brothers) coined by the women of nearby city Castiglione delle Stiviere. He also succeeded in gaining the release of Austrian doctors captured by the French.

The Red Cross

After returning to Geneva early in July, Dunant decided to write a book about his experiences, which he titled Un Souvenir de Solferino (A Memory of Solferino). It was published in 1862 in an edition of 1,600 copies and was printed at Dunants own expense. Within the book, he described the battle, its costs, and the chaotic circumstances afterwards. He also developed the idea that in the future a neutral organization should exist to provide care to wounded soldiers. He distributed the book to many leading political and military figures in Europe.

Drawing of the five founders of the International Committee.

Dunant also began to travel through Europe to promote his ideas. His book was largely positively received, and the President of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare, jurist Gustave Moynier, made the book and its suggestions the topic of the February 9, 1863 meeting of the organization. Dunants recommendations were examined and positively assessed by the members. They created a five-person Committee to further pursue the possibility of their implementation and made Dunant one of the members. The others were Moynier, the Swiss army general Henri Dufour, and doctors Louis Appia and ThÃodore Maunoir. Their first meeting on February 17, 1863 is now considered the founding date of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

From early on, Moynier and Dunant had increasing disagreements and conflicts regarding their respective visions and plans. Moynier considered Dunants idea to establish neutrality protections for care providers unfeasible and advised Dunant not to insist upon this concept. However, Dunant continued to advocate this position in his travels and conversations with high-ranking political and military figures. This intensified the personal conflict between Moynier, who took a rather pragmatic approach to the project, and Dunant, who was the visionary idealist among the five, and led to efforts by Moynier to attack Dunant and his bid for leadership.

In October 1863, 14 states took part in a meeting in Geneva organized by the committee to discuss the improvement of care for wounded soldiers. Dunant himself, however, was only a protocol leader because of Moyniers efforts to diminish his role. A year later on August 22, 1864, a diplomatic conference organized by the Swiss Parliament led to the signing of the First Geneva Convention by 12 states. Dunant, again, was only in charge of organizing accommodation for the attendes.

Forgotten period

Dunants businesses in Algeria had suffered, partially because of his devotion to his humanistic ideals. In April 1867, the bankruptcy of the financial firm CrÃdit Genevois led to a scandal involving Dunant. He was forced to declare bankruptcy and was condemned by the Geneva Trade Court on August 17, 1868 for deceptive practices in the bankruptcies. Due to their investments in the firm, his family and many of his friends were also heavily affected by the downfall of the company. The social outcry in Geneva, a city deeply rooted in Calvinist traditions, also led to calls for him to separate himself from the International Committee. On August 25, 1868, he resigned as Secretary and, on September 8, he was fully removed from the Committee. Moynier, who had become President of the Committee in 1864, played a major role in his expulsion.

In February 1868, Dunants mother died. Later that year he was also expelled from the YMCA. In March 1867, he left his home city Geneva and would not return for the rest of his life. In the following years, Moynier likely used his influence to attempt to ensure that Dunant would not receive assistance and support from his friends. For example, the gold medal prize of Sciences Morales at the Paris Worlds Fair did not go to Dunant as originally planned but to Moynier, Dufour, and Dunant together so that the prize money would only go to the Committee as a whole. NapolÃon IIIs offer to take over half of Dunants debts if Dunants friends would secure the other half was also thwarted by Moyniers efforts.

Dunant moved to Paris, where he lived in meager conditions. However, he continued to pursue his humanitarian ideas and plans. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), he founded the Common Relief Society (Allgemeine Fürsorgegesellschaft) and soon after the Common Alliance for Order and Civilization (Allgemeine Allianz für Ordnung und Zivilisation). He argued for disarmament negotiations and for the erection of an international court to mediate international conflicts. Later he worked for the creation of a world library, an idea which had echoes in future projects such as UNESCO.

In his continued pursuit and advocacy of his ideas, he further neglected his personal situation and income, falling further in debt and being shunned by his acquaintances. Despite being appointed an honorary member of the national Red Cross societies of Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Prussia and Spain, he was nearly forgotten in the official discourse of the Red Cross Movement, even as it was rapidly expanding to new countries. He lived in poverty, moving to various places between 1874 and 1886, including Stuttgart, Rome, Corfu, Basel, and Karlsruhe. In Stuttgart he met the Tübingen University student Rudolf Müller with whom he would have a close friendship. In 1881, together with friends from Stuttgart, he went to the small Swiss resort village Heiden for the first time. In 1887 while living in London, he began to receive some monthly financial support from some distant family members. This enabled him to live a somewhat more secure existence, and he moved to Heiden in July. He spent the rest of his life there, and after April 30, 1892 he lived in a hospital and nursing home led by Dr. Hermann Altherr.

In Heiden, he met the young teacher Wilhelm Sonderegger and his wife Susanna; they encouraged him to record his life experiences. Sondereggers wife founded a branch of the Red Cross in Heiden and in 1890 Dunant became its honorary president. With Sonderegger, Dunant hoped to further promote his ideas, including publishing a new edition of his book. However, their friendship later was strained by Dunants unjustified accusations that Sonderegger, with Moynier in Geneva, was somehow conspiring against Dunant. Sonderegger died in 1904 at the age of only forty-two. Despite their strained relationship, Dunant was deeply moved by the unexpected death. Wilhelm and Susanna Sondereggers admiration for Dunant, felt by both even after Dunants allegations, was passed on to their children. In 1935, their son Renà published a compilation of letters from Dunant to his father.

Return to public memory

In September 1895, Georg Baumberger, the chief editor of the St. Gall newspaper Die Ostschweiz, wrote an article about the Red Cross founder, whom he had met and conversed with during a walk in Heiden a month earlier. The article entitled Henri Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, appeared in the German Illustrated Magazine Ãœber Land und Meer, and the article was soon reprinted in other publications throughout Europe. The article struck a chord, and he received renewed attention and support. He received the Swiss Binet-Fendt Prize and a note from Pope Leo XIII. Because of support from Russian tsarist widow Maria Feodorovna and other donations, his financial situation improved remarkably.

In 1897, Rudolf Müller, who was now working as a teacher in Stuttgart, wrote a book about the origins of the Red Cross, altering the official history to stress Dunants role. The book also contained the text of A Memory of Solferino. Dunant began an exchange of correspondence with Bertha von Suttner and wrote numerous articles and writings. He was especially active in writing about womens rights, and in 1897 facilitated the founding of a Green Cross womens organization whose only section was briefly active in Brussels.

Nobel Peace Prize

Dunant in 1901

In 1901, Dunant was awarded the first-ever Nobel Peace Prize for his role in founding the International Red Cross Movement and initiating the Geneva Convention. Norwegian military physician Hans Daae, who had received a copy of Müllers book, advocated Dunants case on the Nobel committee. The award was jointly given to French pacifist FrÃdÃric Passy, founder of the Peace League and active with Dunant in the Alliance for Order and Civilization. The official congratulations which he received from the International Committee finally represented the rehabilitation of Dunants reputation:

There is no man who more deserves this honour, for it was you, forty years ago, who set on foot the international organization for the relief of the wounded on the battlefield. Without you, the Red Cross, the supreme humanitarian achievement of the nineteenth century would probably have never been undertaken.

Moynier and the International Committee as a whole had also been nominated for the prize. Although Dunant was supported by a broad spectrum in the selection process, he was still a controversial candidate. Some argued that the Red Cross and the Geneva Convention had made war more attractive and imaginable by eliminating some of its suffering. Therefore Müller, in a letter to the committee, argued that the prize should be divided between Dunant and Passy, who for some time in the debate had been the leading candidate to be the sole recipient of the prize. Müller also suggested that if a prize were to be warranted for Dunant, it should be given immediately because of his advanced age and ill health.

By dividing the prize between Passy, a pacifist, and Dunant, a humanitarian, the Nobel Committee set a precedent for the conditions of the Nobel Peace Prize selection which would have significant consequences in later years. A section of Nobels will had indicated that the prize should go to an individual who had worked to reduce or eliminate standing armies, or directly to promote peace conferences, which made Passy a natural choice for his peace work. On the other hand, the arguably distinct bestowal for humanitarian effort alone was seen by some as a wide interpretation of Nobels will. However, another part of Nobels testament marked the prize for the individual who had best enhanced the brotherhood of people, which could be interpreted more generally as seeing humanitarian work like Dunants as connected to peacemaking as well. Many recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in later years can be assigned to either of these two categories first roughly established by the Nobel committees decision in 1901.

Hans Daae succeeded in placing Dunants part of the prize money, 104,000 Swiss Francs, in a Norwegian Bank and preventing access by his creditors. Dunant himself never spent any of the money during his lifetime.

Death and legacy

Grave of Henry Dunant.

Henry Dunant Monument in Wagga Wagga, Australia

Among several other awards in the following years, in 1903 Dunant was given an honorary doctorate by the medical faculty of the University of Heidelberg. He lived in the nursing home in Heiden until his death. In the final years of his life, he suffered from depression and paranoia about pursuit by his creditors and Moynier. There were even days when Dunant insisted that the cook of the nursing home first taste his food before his eyes to protect him against possible poisoning. In his final years, he spurned and attacked Calvinism and organized religion generally. He was said to be agnostic.[2][3]

According to his nurses, the final act of his life was to send a copy of Müllers book to the Italian queen with a personal dedication. He died on October 30, 1910, and his final words were Where has humanity gone? He outlived his nemesis Moynier by just two months. Despite the ICRCs congratulations at the bestowal of the Nobel prize, the two rivals never reached a reconciliation.

According to his wishes, he was buried without ceremony in the Sihlfeld Cemetery in Zurich. In his will, he donated funds to secure a free bed in the Heiden nursing home always to be available for a poor citizen of the region and deeded some money to friends and charitable organizations in Norway and Switzerland. The remaining funds went to his creditors partially relieving his debt; his inability to fully erase his debts was a major burden to him until his death.

His birthday, May 8, is celebrated as the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. The former nursing home in Heiden now houses the Henry Dunant Museum. In Geneva and other places there are numerous streets, squares, and schools named after him. The Henry Dunant Medal, awarded every two years by the standing commission of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is its highest decoration.

His life is represented, with some fictional elements, in the film Dhomme à hommes (1948), starring Jean-Louis Barrault, and the period of his life when the Red Cross was founded in the international film coproduction Henry Dunant: Red on the Cross (2006). In 2010 the Takarazuka Revue staged a musical based on his time in Solferino and the founding of the Red Cross entitled ã½ãƒãƒãリーãƒãåœæ˜ã (Dawn at Solferino, or Where has Humanity Gone?).

See also


Stanford, Richard (2012) Searching For Henri, The Ovi, Issue #23/2012,

  1. ^
  2. ^ Oscar Riddle (2007). The Unleashing of Evolutionary Thought. Vantage Press, Inc. p.343. ISBN9780533155972. The first Nobel Peace Prize went, in 1901, to Henri Dunant. Dunant was the founder of the Red Cross, but he could not become its first elective head-so it is widely believed- because of his agnostic views.
  3. ^ Devoutly Calvinist for most of his life, but became bitter and disdainful toward religion in his latter years., Henry Dunant.

English books

  • Henry Dunant: A Memory of Solferino. ICRC, Geneva 1986, ISBN 2-88145-006-7 – full text online: [1]
  • Pierre Boissier: [2]History of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Volume I: From Solferino to Tsushima. Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva 1985, ISBN 2-88044-012-2
  • Pierre Boissier: [3]Henri Dunant Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva 1974, ISBN 2-88044-012-2 ¢
  • Caroline Moorehead: Dunants dream: War, Switzerland and the history of the Red Cross. HarperCollins, London 1998, ISBN 0-00-255141-1 (Hardcover edition); HarperCollins, London 1999, ISBN 0-00-638883-3 (Paperback edition)
  • Peter Masters: Men of Destiny. Wakeman Trust, London 2008, ISBN 1-870855-55-8 (Paperback edition). See chapter 8 – The Man Behind the Red Cross.

German books

  • Eveline Hasler: Der Zeitreisende. Die Visionen des Henry Dunant. Verlag Nagel & Kimche AG, Zürich 1994, ISBN 3-312-00199-4 (Hardcover edition); Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, München 2003, ISBN 3-423-13073-3 (Paperback edition)
  • Martin Gumpert: Dunant. Der Roman des Roten Kreuzes. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt 1987, ISBN 3-596-25261-X
  • Willy Heudtlass, Walter Gruber: Jean Henry Dunant. Gründer des Roten Kreuzes, Urheber der Genfer Konvention. 4. Auflage. Verlag Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-17-008670-7

External links

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Henry Dunant
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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland and a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate. States parties (signatories) to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 (Protocol I, Protocol II) and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect victims of international and internal armed conflicts. Such victims include war wounded, prisoners, refugees, civilians, and other non-combatants.[3]

The ICRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement along with the International Federation and 186 National Societies.[4] It is the oldest and most honoured organization within the Movement and one of the most widely recognized organizations in the world, having won three Nobel Peace Prizes in 1917, 1944, and 1963.[5]

Solferino, Henry Dunant and the foundation of the ICRC

Up until the middle of the 19th century, there were no organized and well-established army nursing systems for casualties and no safe and protected institutions to accommodate and treat those who were wounded on the battlefield. In June 1859, the Swiss businessman Henry Dunant traveled to Italy to meet French emperor NapolÃon III with the intention of discussing difficulties in conducting business in Algeria, at that time occupied by France. When he arrived in the small town of Solferino on the evening of 24 June, he witnessed the Battle of Solferino, an engagement in the Franco-Austrian War. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers on both sides died or were left wounded on the field. Henry Dunant was shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle, the suffering of the wounded soldiers, and the near-total lack of medical attendance and basic care. He completely abandoned the original intent of his trip and for several days he devoted himself to helping with the treatment and care for the wounded. He succeeded in organizing an overwhelming level of relief assistance by motivating the local population to aid without discrimination. Back in his home in Geneva, he decided to write a book entitled A Memory of Solferino[6] which he published with his own money in 1862. He sent copies of the book to leading political and military figures throughout Europe. In addition to penning a vivid description of his experiences in Solferino in 1859, he explicitly advocated the formation of national voluntary relief organizations to help nurse wounded soldiers in the case of war. In addition, he called for the development of international treaties to guarantee the neutrality and protection of those wounded on the battlefield as well as medics and field hospitals.

Original document of the first Geneva Convention, 1864.

On 9 February 1863 in Geneva, Henry Dunant founded the Committee of the Five (together with four other leading figures from well-known Geneva families) as an investigatory commission of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare.[7] Their aim was to examine the feasibility of Dunants ideas and to organize an international conference about their possible implementation. The members of this committee, aside from Dunant himself, were Gustave Moynier, lawyer and chairman of the Geneva Society for Public Welfare; physician Louis Appia, who had significant experience working as a field surgeon; Appias friend and colleague ThÃodore Maunoir, from the Geneva Hygiene and Health Commission; and Guillaume-Henri Dufour, a Swiss Army general of great renown. Eight days later, the five men decided to rename the committee to the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded. In October (26–29) 1863, the international conference organized by the committee was held in Geneva to develop possible measures to improve medical services on the battle field. The conference was attended by 36 individuals: eighteen official delegates from national governments, six delegates from other non-governmental organizations, seven non-official foreign delegates, and the five members of the International Committee. The states and kingdoms represented by official delegates were Baden, Bavaria, France, Britain, Hanover, Hesse, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Spain. Among the proposals written in the final resolutions of the conference, adopted on 29 October 1863, were:

  • The foundation of national relief societies for wounded soldiers;
  • Neutrality and protection for wounded soldiers;
  • The utilization of volunteer forces for relief assistance on the battlefield;
  • The organization

additional conferences to enact these concepts in legally binding international treaties; and

  • The introduction of a common distinctive protection symbol for medical personnel in the field, namely a white armlet bearing a red cross.

Memorial commemorating the first use of the Red Cross symbol in an armed conflict during the Battle of DybbÃl (Denmark) in 1864; jointly erected in 1989 by the national Red Cross societies of Denmark and Germany.

The Red Cross in action in 1864

Only one year later, the Swiss government invited the governments of all European countries, as well as the United States, Brazil, and Mexico, to attend an official diplomatic conference. Sixteen countries sent a total of twenty-six delegates to Geneva. On 22 August 1864, the conference adopted the first Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. Representatives of 12 states and kingdoms signed the convention: Baden, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hesse, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Prussia, Switzerland, Spain, and Württemberg. The convention contained ten articles, establishing for the first time legally binding rules guaranteeing neutrality and protection for wounded soldiers, field medical personnel, and specific humanitarian institutions in an armed conflict. Furthermore, the convention defined two specific requirements for recognition of a national relief society by the International Committee:

  • The national society must be recognized by its own national government as a relief society according to the convention, and
  • The national government of the respective country must be a state party to the Geneva Convention.

Directly following the establishment of the Geneva Convention, the first national societies were founded in Belgium, Denmark, France, Oldenburg, Prussia, Spain, and Württemberg. Also in 1864, Louis Appia and Charles van de Velde, a captain of the Dutch Army, became the first independent and neutral delegates to work under the symbol of the Red Cross in an armed conflict. Three years later in 1867, the first International Conference of National Aid Societies for the Nursing of the War Wounded was convened.

Also in 1867, Henry Dunant was forced to declare bankruptcy due to business failures in Algeria, partly because he had neglected his business interests during his tireless activities for the International Committee. Controversy surrounding Dunants business dealings and the resulting negative public opinion, combined with an ongoing conflict with Gustave Moynier, led to Dunants expulsion from his position as a member and secretary. He was charged with fraudulent bankruptcy and a warrant for his arrest was issued. Thus, he was forced to leave Geneva and never returned to his home city. In the following years, national societies were founded in nearly every country in Europe. In 1876, the committee adopted the name International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is still its official designation today. Five years later, the American Red Cross was founded through the efforts of Clara Barton. More and more countries signed the Geneva Convention and began to respect it in practice during armed conflicts. In a rather short period of time, the Red Cross gained huge momentum as an internationally respected movement, and the national societies became increasingly popular as a venue for volunteer work.

When the first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1901, the Norwegian Nobel Committee opted to give it jointly to Henry Dunant and FrÃdÃric Passy, a leading international pacifist. More significant than the honor of the prize itself, the official congratulation from the International Committee of the Red Cross marked the overdue rehabilitation of Henry Dunant and represented a tribute to his key role in the formation of the Red Cross. Dunant died nine years later in the small Swiss health resort of Heiden. Only two months earlier his long-standing adversary Gustave Moynier had also died, leaving a mark in the history of the Committee as its longest-serving president ever.

In 1906, the 1864 Geneva Convention was revised for the first time. One year later, the Hague Convention X, adopted at the Second International Peace Conference in The Hague, extended the scope of the Geneva Convention to naval warfare. Shortly before the beginning of the First World War in 1914, 50 years after the foundation of the ICRC and the adoption of the first Geneva Convention, there were already 45 national relief societies throughout the world. The movement had extended itself beyond Europe and North America to Central and South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, Uruguay, Venezuela), Asia (the Republic of China, Japan, Korea, Siam), and Africa (South Africa).

World War I

French postcard celebrating the role of Red Cross nurses during the First World War, 1915.

With the outbreak of World War I, the ICRC found itself confronted with enormous challenges which it could only handle by working closely with the national Red Cross societies. Red Cross nurses from around the world, including the United States and Japan, came to support the medical services of the armed forces of the European countries involved in the war. On 15 October 1914, immediately after the start of the war, the ICRC set up its International Prisoners-of-War (POW) Agency, which had about 1,200 mostly volunteer staff members by the end of 1914. By the end of the war, the Agency had transferred about 20million letters and messages, 1.9million parcels, and about 18million Swiss francs in monetary donations to POWs of all affected countries. Furthermore, due to the intervention of the Agency, about 200,000 prisoners were exchanged between the warring parties, released from captivity and returned to their home country. The organizational card index of the Agency accumulated about 7 million records from 1914 to 1923, each card representing an individual prisoner or missing person. The card index led to the identification of about 2million POWs and the ability to contact their families. The complete index is on loan today from the ICRC to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva. The right to access the index is still strictly restricted to the ICRC.

During the entire war, the ICRC monitored warring parties’ compliance with the Geneva Conventions of the 1907 revision and forwarded complaints about violations to the respective country. When chemical weapons were used in this war for the first time in history, the ICRC vigorously protested against this new type of warfare. Even without having a mandate from the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC tried to ameliorate the suffering of civil populations. In territories that were officially designated as occupied territories, the ICRC could assist the civilian population on the basis of the Hague Conventions Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907. This convention was also the legal basis for the ICRCs work for prisoners of war. In addition to the work of the International Prisoner-of-War Agency as described above this included inspection visits to POW camps. A total of 524 camps throughout Europe were visited by 41 delegates from the ICRC until the end of the war.

Between 1916 and 1918, the ICRC published a number of postcards with scenes from the POW camps. The pictures showed the prisoners in day-to-day activities such as the distribution of letters from home. The intention of the ICRC was to provide the families of the prisoners with some hope and solace and to alleviate their uncertainties about the fate of their loved ones. After the end of the war, the ICRC organized the return of about 420,000 prisoners to their home countries. In 1920, the task of repatriation was handed over to the newly founded League of Nations, which appointed the Norwegian diplomat and scientist Fridtjof Nansen as its High Commissioner for Repatriation of the War Prisoners. His legal mandate was later extended to support and care for war refugees and displaced persons when his office became that of the League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Nansen, who invented the Nansen passport for stateless refugees and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922, appointed two delegates from the ICRC as his deputies.

A year before the end of the war, the ICRC received the 1917 Nobel Peace Prize for its outstanding wartime work. It was the only Nobel Peace Prize awarded in the period from 1914 to 1918. In 1923, the Committee adopted a change in its policy regarding the selection of new members. Until then, only citizens from the city of Geneva could serve in the Committee. This limitation was expanded to include Swiss citizens. As a direct consequence of World War I, an additional protocol to the Geneva Convention was adopted in 1925 which outlawed the use of suffocating or poisonous gases and biological agents as weapons. Four years later, the original Convention was revised and the second Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War was established. The events of World War I and the respective activities of the ICRC significantly increased the reputation and authority of the Committee among the international community and led to an extension of its competencies.

As early as in 1934, a draft proposal for an additional convention for the protection of the civil population during an armed conflict was adopted by the International Red Cross Conference. Unfortunately, most governments had little interest in implementing this convention, and it was thus prevented from entering into force before the beginning of World War II.

World War II

Red Cross message from Åódź, Poland, 1940.

The legal basis of the work of the ICRC during World War II were the Geneva Conventions in their 1929 revision. The activities of the Committee were similar to those during World War I: visiting and monitoring POW camps, organizing relief assistance for civilian populations, and administering the exchange of messages regarding prisoners and missing persons. By the end of the war, 179 delegates had conducted 12,750 visits to POW camps in 41 countries. The Central Information Agency on Prisoners-of-War (Zentralauskunftsstelle für Kriegsgefangene) had a staff of 3,000, the card index tracking prisoners contained 45million cards, and 120million messages were exchanged by the Agency. One major obstacle was that the Nazi-controlled German Red Cross refused to cooperate with the Geneva statutes including blatant violations such as the deportation of Jews from Germany and the mass murders conducted in the concentration camps run by the German government. Moreover, two other main parties to the conflict, the Soviet Union and Japan, were not party to the 1929 Geneva Conventions and were not legally required to follow the rules of the conventions.

During the war, the ICRC failed to obtain an agreement with Nazi Germany about the treatment of detainees in concentration camps, and it eventually abandoned applying pressure to avoid disrupting its work with POWs. The ICRC also failed to develop a response to reliable information about the extermination camps and the mass killing of European Jews. This is still considered the greatest failure of the ICRC in its history. After November 1943, the ICRC achieved permission to send parcels to concentration camp detainees with known names and locations. Because the notices of receipt for these parcels were often signed by other inmates, the ICRC managed to register the identities of about 105,000 detainees in the concentration camps and delivered about 1.1million parcels, primarily to the camps Dachau, Buchenwald, Ravensbrück, and Sachsenhausen.[8]

Marcel Junod, delegate of the ICRC, visiting POWs in Germany.
( Benoit Junod, Switzerland)

Swiss historian Jean-Claude Favez, who conducted an 8-year review of the Red Cross records, says that even though the Red Cross knew by November 1942 about the Nazi’s annihilation plans for the Jews – and even discussed it with U.S. officials – the group did nothing to inform the public, maintaining silence even in the face of pleas by Jewish groups.

Because the Red Cross was based in Geneva and largely funded by the Swiss government, it was very sensitive to Swiss wartime attitudes and policies. On October 1942, the Swiss government and the Red Cross’ board of members vetoed a proposal by several Red Cross board members to condemn the persecution of civilians by the Nazis. For the rest of the war, the Red Cross took its cues from Switzerland in avoiding acts of opposition or confrontation with the Nazis.

A sick Polish survivor in the Hannover-Ahlem concentration camp receives medicine from a German Red Cross worker, April 1945

On 12 March 1945, ICRC president Jacob Burckhardt received a message from SS General Ernst Kaltenbrunner accepting the ICRCs demand to allow delegates to visit the concentration camps. This agreement was bound by the condition that these delegates would have to stay in the camps until the end of the war. Ten delegates, among them Louis Haefliger (Mauthausen Camp), Paul Dunant (Theresienstadt Camp) and Victor Maurer (Dachau Camp), accepted the assignment and visited the camps. Louis Haefliger prevented the forceful eviction or blasting of Mauthausen-Gusen by alerting American troops, thereby saving the lives of about 60,000 inmates. His actions were condemned by the ICRC because they were deemed as acting unduly on his own authority and risking the ICRCs neutrality. Only in 1990, his reputation was finally rehabilitated by ICRC president Cornelio Sommaruga.

In 1944, the ICRC received its second Nobel Peace Prize. As in World War I, it received the only Peace Prize awarded during the main period of war, 1939 to 1945. At the end of the war, the ICRC worked with national Red Cross societies to organize relief assistance to those countries most severely affected. In 1948, the Committee published a report reviewing its war-era activities from 1 September 1939 to 30 June 1947. Since January 1996, the ICRC archive for this period has been open to academic and public research.

After the Second World War

The ICRC Headquarters in Geneva.

On 12 August 1949, further revisions to the existing two Geneva Conventions were adopted. An additional convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, now called the second Geneva Convention, was brought under the Geneva Convention umbrella as a successor to the 1907 Hague Convention X. The 1929 Geneva convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War may have been the second Geneva Convention from a historical point of view (because it was actually formulated in Geneva), but after 1949 it came to be called the third Convention because it came later chronologically than the Hague Convention. Reacting to the experience of World War II, the Fourth Geneva Convention, a new Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, was established. Also, the additional protocols of 8 June 1977 were intended to make the conventions apply to internal conflicts such as civil wars. Today, the four conventions and their added protocols contain more than 600 articles, a remarkable expansion when compared to the mere 10 articles in the first 1864 convention.

In celebration of its centennial in 1963, the ICRC, together with the League of Red Cross Societies, received its third Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1993, non-Swiss individuals have been allowed to serve as Committee delegates abroad, a task which was previously restricted to Swiss citizens. Indeed, since then, the share of staff without Swiss citizenship has increased to about 35%.

On 16 October 1990, the UN General Assembly decided to grant the ICRC observer status for its assembly sessions and sub-committee meetings, the first observer status given to a private organization. The resolution was jointly proposed by 138 member states and introduced by the Italian ambassador, Vieri Traxler, in memory of the organizations origins in the Battle of Solferino. An agreement with the Swiss government signed on 19 March 1993, affirmed the already long-standing policy of full independence of the Committee from any possible interference by Switzerland. The agreement protects the full sanctity of all ICRC property in Switzerland including its headquarters and archive, grants members and staff legal immunity, exempts the ICRC from all taxes and fees, guarantees the protected and duty-free transfer of goods, services, and money, provides the ICRC with secure communication privileges at the same level as foreign embassies, and simplifies Committee travel in and out of Switzerland.

The ICRC continued its activities throughout the 1990s. It broke its customary media silence when it denounced the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. It struggled to prevent the crimes that happened in and around Srebrenica in 1995 but admitted, We must acknowledge that despite our efforts to help thousands of civilians forcibly expelled from the town and despite the dedication of our colleagues on the spot, the ICRCs impact on the unfolding of the tragedy was extremely limited.[9] It went public once again in 2007 to decry major human rights abuses by Burmas military government including forced labor, starvation, and murder of men, women, and children.[10]


At the end of the Cold War, the ICRCs work actually became more dangerous. In the 1990s, more delegates lost their lives than at any point in its history, especially when working in local and internal armed conflicts. These incidents often demonstrated a lack of respect for the rules of the Geneva Conventions and their protection symbols. Among the slain delegates were:

  • FrÃdÃric Maurice. He died on 19 May 1992 at the age of 39, one day after a Red Cross transport he was escorting was attacked in the former Yugoslavian city of Sarajevo.
  • Fernanda Calado (Spain), Ingeborg Foss (Norway), Nancy Malloy (Canada), Gunnhild Myklebust (Norway), Sheryl Thayer (New Zealand), and Hans Elkerbout (Netherlands). They were murdered at point-blank range while sleeping in the early hours of 17 December 1996 in the ICRC field hospital in the Chechen city of Nowije Atagi near Grozny. Their murderers have never been caught and there was no apparent motive for the killings.
  • Rita Fox (Switzerland), VÃronique Saro (Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire), Julio Delgado (Colombia), Unen Ufoirworth (DR Congo), Aduwe Boboli (DR Congo), and Jean Molokabonge (DR Congo). On 26 April 2001, they were en route with two cars on a relief mission in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo when they came under fatal fire from unknown attackers.
  • Ricardo Munguia (El Salvador). He was working as a water engineer in Afghanistan and travelling with local colleagues when their car was stopped by unknown armed men. He was killed execution-style at point-blank range while his colleagues were allowed to escape. He died at the age of 39.
  • Vatche Arslanian (Canada). Since 2001, he worked as a logistics coordinator for the ICRC mission in Iraq. He died when he was travelling through Baghdad together with members of the Iraqi Red Crescent. Their car accidentally came into the crossfire of fighting in the city.
  • Nadisha Yasassri Ranmuthu (Sri Lanka). He was killed by unknown attackers on 22 July 2003, when his car was fired upon near the city of Hilla in the south of Baghdad.
  • Emmerich Pregetter (Austria). He was an ICRC Logistics Specialist who was killed by a swarm of killer bees on August 11, 2008. Emmerich was participating in a field trip along with the ICRC Water and Habitat team on a convoy which was delivering construction material for reconstruction of a rural surgical health clinic in the area of Jebel Marra, West Darfur, Sudan.

The Holocaust

By taking part in the 1995 ceremony to commemorate the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the President of the ICRC, Cornelio Sommaruga, sought to show that the organization was fully aware of the gravity of The Holocaust and the need to keep the memory of it alive, so as to prevent any repetition of it. He paid tribute to all those who had suffered or lost their lives during the war and publicly regretted the past mistakes and shortcomings of the Red Cross with regard to the victims of the concentration camps.[11]

In 2002, an ICRC official outlined some of the lessons the organization has learned from the failure:

  • from a legal point of view, the work that led to the adoption of the Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war;
  • from an ethical point of view, the adoption of the declaration of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, building on the distinguished work of Max Huber and Jean Pictet, to prevent any more abuses such as those that occurred within the Movement after Hitler rose to power in 1933;
  • on a political level, the ICRCs relationship with Switzerland was redesigned to ensure its independence;
  • with a view to keeping memories alive, the ICRC accepted, in 1955, to take over the direction of the International Tracing Service where records from concentration camps are maintained;
  • finally, to establish the historical facts of the case, the ICRC invited Jean-Claude Favez to carry out an independent investigation of its activities on behalf of the victims of Nazi persecution, and gave him unfettered access to its archives relating to this period; out of concern for transparency, the ICRC also decided to give all other historians access to its archives dating back more than 50 years; having gone over the conclusions of Favezs work, the ICRC acknowledged its past failings and expressed its regrets in this regard.[12]

In an official statement made on 27 January 2005, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the ICRC stated:

Auschwitz also represents the greatest failure in the history of the ICRC, aggravated by its lack of decisiveness in taking steps to aid the victims of Nazi persecution. This failure will remain part of the ICRCs memory, as will the courageous acts of individual ICRC delegates at the time.[13]


The original motto of the International Committee of the Red Cross was Inter Arma Caritas (Amidst War, Charity). It has preserved this motto while other Red Cross organizations have adopted others. Due to Genevas location in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, the ICRC is also known under its initial French name Comità international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR). However, the ICRC has four official languages (Arabic, English, French and Spanish). The official symbol of the ICRC is the Red Cross on white background (the inverse of the Swiss flag) with the words COMITE INTERNATIONAL GENEVE circling the cross.

Neutrality and Embracing the diversity

Under the Geneva Convention, the red cross, red crescent and red crystal emblems provide protection for military medical services and relief workers in armed conflicts and is to be placed on humanitarian and medical vehicles and buildings. The original emblem that has a red cross on a white background is the exact reverse of the flag of neutral Switzerland. It was later supplemented by two others which are the Red Crescent, and the Red Crystal. The Red Crescent was adopted by the Ottoman empire during the Russo-Turkish war and the Red Crystal by the governments in 2005, as an additional emblem devoid of any national, political or religious connotation.[14]


The official mission statement says that: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral, and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It also directs and coordinates international relief and works to promote and strengthen humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.[15] The core tasks of the Committee, which are derived from the Geneva Conventions and its own statutes ([2]), are the following:

  • to monitor compliance of warring parties with the Geneva Conventions
  • to organize nursing and care for those who are wounded on the battlefield
  • to supervise the treatment of prisoners of war and make confidential interventions with detaining authorities
  • to help with the search for missing persons in an armed conflict (tracing service)
  • to organize protection and care for civil populations
  • to act as a neutral intermediary between warring parties

The ICRC drew up seven fundamental principles in 1965 that were adopted by the entire Red Cross Movement.[16] They are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, volunteerism, unity, and universality.[17]

Legal status

ICRC is the only institution explicitly named under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) as a controlling authority. The legal mandate of the ICRC stems from the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as its own Statutes. The ICRC also undertakes tasks that are not specifically mandated by law, such as visiting political prisoners outside of conflict and providing relief in natural disasters.

The ICRC is a private association registered in Switzerland that has enjoyed various degrees of special privileges and legal immunities within the territory of Switzerland for many years[when?]. On 19 March 1993, a legal foundation for this special treatment was created by a formal agreement between the Swiss government and the ICRC. This agreement protects the full sanctity of all ICRC property in Switzerland including its headquarters and archive, grants members and staff legal immunity, exempts the ICRC from all taxes and fees, guarantees the protected and duty-free transfer of goods, services, and money, provides the ICRC with secure communication privileges at the same level as foreign embassies, and simplifies Committee travel in and out of Switzerland. On the other hand Switzerland does not recognize ICRC issued passports.[18]

Contrary to popular belief, the ICRC is not a sovereign entity like the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and also it is not an international organization, neither of non-governmental nor of governmental type. The ICRC limits its membership to Swiss nationals only, and also unlike most NGOs[citation needed] it does not have a policy of open and unrestricted membership for individuals as its new members are selected by the Committee itself (a process called cooptation). However, since the early 1990s, the ICRC employs persons from all over the world to serve in its field mission and at Headquarters. In 2007, almost half of ICRC staff was non-Swiss. The ICRC has special privileges and legal immunities in many countries,[which?] based on national law in these countries, based on agreements between the ICRC and the respective governments, or, in some cases, based on international jurisprudence (such as the right of ICRC delegates not to bear witness in front of international tribunals).

Legal Basis

ICRC operations are generally based on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, their two Additional Protocols of 1977 and Additional Protocol III of 2005, the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.[19]

International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Treaties and Customary Law International Humanitarian Law is a set of rules that come into effect in armed conflicts. It aims to minimize the harms of an armed conflict by imposing obligations and duties to those who participate in armed conflicts. IHL mainly deals with two parts, the protection of persons who are not, or no longer taking part in fighting and restrictions on the means and methods of warfare such as weapons and tactics.[20] IHL is founded upon Geneva conventions which were first signed in 1864 by 16 countries. Traditions and Customs had governed the conduct of war until then, which varied depending on the location and time. The First Geneva Convention of 1949 covers the protection for the wounded and sick of armed conflict on land. The Second Geneva Convention asks for the protection and care for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked of armed conflict at sea. The Third Geneva Convention emphasizes the treatment of prisoners of war. The Fourth Geneva Convention concerns the protection of civilians in time of war. In addition, there are many more body of Customary International Laws(CIL) that come into effect when necessary.


BBC coverage

Red Cross: Syria is now in civil war, Humanitarian Law applies Published 15 July 2012 1300GMT/UTC

UN Conference failed to reach agreement on a treaty that would regulate the global trade in arms Red Cross (ICRC) disappointed Published 29 July 2012 1825GMT/UTC

Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January 2013 Remembering the victims of the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and subsequent genocides Updated 0702131820z

Italy: Fear of magma buildup under Bay of Pozzuoli, nr Naples. Phlegraean Fields ground rising by about 3 cm a month – 050213 1315z

The ground of the Campi Flegrei (“burning fields”), also known as the Phlegraean Fields, has risen more in recent weeks than it has in a long time.

(Image: NASA, Pozzuoli and the Campi Flegrei with names. Photo taken from the ISS.

This does not necessary indicate a heightened risk of an eruption, however, says Thomas Wiersberg, a scientific drilling expert for the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam.

The Phlegraean Fields are a large caldera, or volcanic crater, lying mostly underwater off the Italian coast.


The caldera is thought to have been formed by a massive eruption some 35 000-40 000 years ago. The last major eruption in the fields of boiling mud and sulphurous steam holes, one of a few dozen super volcanoes worldwide, occurred in 1538.

Wiersberg is part of an international research team that began drilling into the ground not far from the caldera last summer to monitor possible early warning signs of an eruption.

The team has drilled a pilot hole to a depth of 500 metres but no data has been gathered yet, Wiersberg said in an interview with dpa.

Italy’s Deparment of Civil Protection recently raised the alert level for the Phlegraean Fields, where Wiersberg said the ground was rising by about three centimetres a month.

There are concerns that a magma chamber under the fields – presumably connected to the one under Mount Vesuvius, east of Naples – is filling up, the rising pressure possibly heightening the danger of an eruption.

As Wiersberg pointed out, however, the two episodes of considerable ground uplift since the 1960s were not followed by an eruption.

The uplift in the early 1970s – about 1.50 metres in three years – was somewhat greater than the current one, he said.

“Many houses cracked,” after which the ground deformation sharply subsided, Wiersberg said. “But it’s true that the uplift has increased again during the past two or three months.”

An eruption could have serious consequences for the heavily populated region with knock-on effects for the whole of Europe.

There could also be worldwide impact, for example in the form of climatic changes.

No forecasts have been made thus far.

Since super volcanoes seldom undergo massive eruptions, empirical data is lacking.

“It’s easy to assert there’ll be an eruption sometime. That doesn’t help us, though. We need more specific information,” Wiersberg said.

He said the drilling project aimed in part to monitor the Phlegraean Fields over the long term and gain more knowledge of what had occurred earlier in the super volcano.

“First we’ve got to understand what’s happening under the surface,” Wiersberg said. Then it may be possible to say more about the likelihood of an eruption.

Fears of nearby residents – and some scientists – that the drilling could “awaken” the super volcano have proved to be unfounded.

“Technically, everything went smoothly. No additional volcanic activities were triggered, nor were there any problems with gases or fluids,” he noted.

It has not yet been decided when the scientists will continue their project and begin drilling to a depth of 3 kilometres.

“At the moment it’s mainly a financial question,” Wiersberg said. “There’ll be deep drilling when Italy provides the necessary funds.”

Tuesday, 05 February, 2013 at 08:18 (08:18 AM) UTC RSOE


Phlegraean Fields – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Italia: La paura di accumulo di magma sotto Golfo di Pozzuoli, Napoli nr. Dei Campi Flegrei a terra aumenta di circa 3 cm al mese – 050.213 1315z
5 feb 2013 da News Goaty di

La terra dei Campi Flegrei (“campi ardenti”), noto anche come i Campi Flegrei, aumentata di pi nelle ultime settimane, di quanto non sia in un tempo lungo.

(Immagine: NASA,, Pozzuoli e dei Campi Flegrei con i nomi. Foto scattata dalla ISS.

Questo non necessario, indicare un rischio maggiore di un’eruzione, comunque, dice Thomas Wiersberg, esperto di perforazione scientifica per il Centro di ricerca tedesco per le geoscienze (GFZ) di Potsdam.

I Campi Flegrei sono una caldera di grandi dimensioni, o cratere vulcanico, si trova in gran parte sottomarino al largo della costa italiana.


La caldera si pensa si siano formati da una massiccia eruzione circa 35 000-40 000 anni fa. L’ultima grande eruzione nel campo di fango bollente e fori vapore sulfureo, uno dei pochi dozzina di super-vulcani in tutto il mondo, si verificato nel 1538.

Wiersberg fa parte di un gruppo di ricerca internazionale che ha avuto inizio perforazione nel terreno non lontano dalla caldera scorsa estate per monitorare eventuali segni premonitori di un’eruzione.

Il team ha praticato un foro pilota ad una profondit di 500 metri, ma i dati non sono stati raccolti ancora, Wiersberg ha detto in un’intervista con dpa.

Deparment in Italia della Protezione Civile ha recentemente innalzato il livello di allerta per i Campi Flegrei, dove Wiersberg ha detto che il terreno stato un incremento di circa tre centimetri al mese.

Ci sono preoccupazioni che una camera magmatica sotto i campi – presumibilmente collegato a quello sotto il monte Vesuvio, a est di Napoli – si sta riempiendo, la crescente pressione possibilmente aumentando il pericolo di un’eruzione.

Come Wiersberg sottolineato, tuttavia, i due episodi di innalzamento del terreno considerevole dal 1960 non sono stati seguiti da un’eruzione.

Il sollevamento nei primi anni 1970 – circa 1,50 metri in tre anni – era un po ‘pi grande di quello attuale, ha detto.

“Molte case cracking”, dopo di che la deformazione del suolo bruscamente abbassata, Wiersberg detto. “Ma vero che la percentuale di maggiorazione aumentata ancora una volta nel corso degli ultimi due o tre mesi.”

Un’eruzione potrebbe avere gravi conseguenze per la regione densamente popolata, con effetti a catena per tutta l’Europa.

Ci potrebbero anche essere impatto mondiale, per esempio sotto forma di cambiamenti climatici.

Non le previsioni sono state fatte finora.

Dal super-vulcani raramente sottoposti a massicce eruzioni, dati empirici carente.

“E ‘facile affermare che ci sar un’eruzione qualche volta. Questo non ci aiuta, per. Abbiamo bisogno di informazioni pi specifiche “, ha detto Wiersberg.

Ha detto che il progetto di perforazione in parte finalizzato a monitorare i Campi Flegrei a lungo termine e di acquisire maggiori conoscenze su ci che era accaduto in precedenza nel super vulcano.

“Prima dobbiamo capire cosa succede sotto la superficie”, ha detto Wiersberg. Poi pu essere possibile dire di pi sulla possibilit di una eruzione.

I timori di residenti nelle vicinanze – e alcuni scienziati – che la perforazione potrebbe “risvegliare” il super vulcano si sono rivelate infondate.

“Tecnicamente, tutto andato liscio. Non ci sono ulteriori attivit vulcaniche sono stati attivati, n ci sono stati dei problemi con il gas o fluidi “, ha osservato.

Non stato ancora deciso quando gli scienziati continueranno il loro progetto e iniziare di perforare a una profondit di 3 chilometri.

“Al momento soprattutto una questione finanziaria”, ha detto Wiersberg. “Ci sar foratura profonda in cui l’Italia fornisce i fondi necessari.”

Marted, 5 Febbraio 2013 alle 08:18 (08:18) UTC RSOE


Phlegraean Fields – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ITALY: Strong tornado struck Taranto area in Puglia province, 20 hurt, 1 missing – 281112 2105z

A strong tornado hit Taranto area in southern Italian Puglia province today around 10:30 CET.

A powerful tornado on Wednesday struck a giant steel plant in southern Italy at the centre of a major labour dispute, leaving 20 workers slightly injured and one missing, as storms lashed much of the country.

Another video (much more closer):

The missing worker at the ILVA plant in Taranto is believed to have been operating a crane at the port which was swept out to sea by the wind.

“Divers are searching for him,” Lino Ursi, a spokesman for Taranto’s mayor said.

A chimneystack was partly destroyed by the strong winds and explosions could be heard inside the closed facility, officials said.

A regional emergency official, Fabiano Amati, said the storm had also struck a nearby school and six children had been lightly injured.

The ILVA plant, which is the biggest steel mill in western Europe, has been shut since Monday because of a long-running dispute over pollution levels. The company said there had been “heavy structural damage” on the facility.

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 at 15:15 (03:15 PM) UTC RSOE

Photos showing some of the damage can be found here:


PART 2 (source: La Rebubblica) :

PART 3 (source: La Rebubblica):


If a powerful tornado was not enough…

From dangerously high winds in the south, to snow and freezing temperatures in the north with high water and flooding in Venice, all of Italy was in the grip of miserable weather Wednesday.

Snows clogged the Colle della Maddalena and Colle del Tenda passes in the mountains between Italy and France and, with no openings likely until later this week, truckers and travellers were forced to detour.

The bad weather, which comes after a similar wave of storms wreaked havoc earlier this month, also slowed searchers seeking three climbers who disappeared last weekend somewhere on Italy’s highest alpines slopes.

It is hoped that the trio, all experienced mountain climbers, have found some shelter from the inclement weather. Weather alerts were Wednesday issued for seven Italian regions.

Strong winds were also a major problem in Italy’s southern province of Campania, where civil defence authorities warned of heavy rains. Authorities in Tuscany were issuing similar heavy rainfall warnings as downpours brought by storm system Medusa raised fears of still more flooding.

Rainfall forced a temporary closure Tuesday of the rail line between the cities of Pisa and Genoa, and the Aurelia highway near Carrara. As many as 28 people were forced from their homes by floods in the city of Carrara, reminding people of severe flooding earlier this month in many parts of Tuscany.

More should be done to protect the region, Carrara Mayor Angelo Zubbani told Mediaset television. “Fifteen days after the previous flood we have this storm hit us, we’re a fragile area with open wounds,” he said.

In Venice authorities were cautiously hopeful that the high water, which had reached 103 centimetres, will be lower than earlier forecast. Waters were flooding about 10% of the historic city’s centre, lifted higher still by the force of sirocco winds.

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 at 15:34 (03:34 PM) UTC RSOE



Venice 70% flooded after bad weather strikes northern Italy, set to hit Rome Updated 1311121310z


Un tornado ha colpito forte zona di Taranto, nel sud della Puglia provincia italiana di oggi intorno alle 10:30 CET.

Un potente tornado ha colpito il Mercoledì una pianta gigante d’acciaio in Italia meridionale al centro di una controversia di lavoro importante, lasciando 20 lavoratori lievemente feriti e uno mancanti, come tempeste sferzato gran parte del paese.

[Http:// youtube]

Un altro video (molto più vicino):

Il lavoratore mancante dello stabilimento ILVA di Taranto si ritiene sia opera di una gru al porto che è stato spazzato in mare dal vento.

“Divers sono alla ricerca di lui,” Lino Ursi, un portavoce per il sindaco di Taranto ha detto.

Una ciminiera è stata in parte distrutta dai forti venti e le esplosioni potrebbero essere sentiti all’interno della struttura chiusa, hanno detto i funzionari.

Un funzionario di emergenza regionale, Fabiano Amati, ha detto che la tempesta aveva colpito anche una scuola vicina e sei bambini sono stati leggermente feriti.

Lo stabilimento ILVA, che è il più grande mulino di acciaio in Europa occidentale, è stato chiuso da Lunedi a causa di una lunga disputa sui livelli di inquinamento. La società ha detto che ci era stato “gravi danni strutturali” per l’impianto.

Mercoledì 28 novembre, 2012 alle 15:15 (15:15) UTC RSOE

Foto che mostrano alcuni dei danni può essere trovato qui:


PARTE 2 (fonte: La Rebubblica):

PARTE 3 (fonte: La Rebubblica):


Se un potente tornado non era abbastanza …

Da pericolosamente forti venti nel sud, a temperature di neve e gelo nel nord con acqua alta e inondazioni a Venezia, tutta l’Italia era in preda a tempo inclemente Mercoledì.

Nevi intasato il Colle della Maddalena e il Colle del Tenda passa nelle montagne tra Italia e Francia e, privo di aperture che possono fino a fine settimana, camionisti e viaggiatori sono stati costretti a deviazione.

Il maltempo, che viene dopo una simile ondata di temporali ha raso al suolo all’inizio di questo mese, anche rallentato ricercatori in cerca di tre alpinisti scomparsi lo scorso fine settimana da qualche parte d’Italia più alti pendii alpini.

Si spera che il trio, tutti alpinisti esperti, hanno trovato un riparo dalle intemperie. Meteo Mercoledì avvisi sono stati emessi per sette regioni italiane.

Venti forti erano anche un grave problema in provincia meridionale d’Italia della Campania, dove le autorità civili della difesa ha avvertito di forti piogge. Autorità in Toscana sono stati rilascio simili avvertimenti pesanti piogge, come acquazzoni portati dalla tempesta sistema Medusa sollevato timori di inondazioni ancora di più.

Pioggia forzato una chiusura temporanea Martedì della linea ferroviaria tra le città di Pisa e Genova, e dalla statale Aurelia nei pressi di Carrara. Ben 28 persone sono state costrette ad abbandonare le loro case dalle inondazioni nella città di Carrara, ricordare alla gente di gravi inondazioni all’inizio di questo mese in molte parti della Toscana.

Occorre fare di più per proteggere la regione, il sindaco di Carrara Angelo Zubbani ha detto alla tv Mediaset. “Quindici giorni dopo l’alluvione precedente abbiamo questa tempesta ci ha colpito, siamo una zona fragile, con ferite aperte”, ha detto.

A Venezia le autorità erano cautamente fiducioso che l’acqua alta, che aveva raggiunto 103 centimetri, sarà inferiore alle previsioni precedenti. Le acque sono state inondando circa il 10% del centro storico della città, la sollevò ancora più in alto dalla forza dei venti di scirocco.

Mercoledì 28 novembre, 2012 alle 15:34 (03:34) UTC RSOE

Airliner encounters severe turbulence over Atlantic, plunges 1,000 meters (3,300 ft), 30 slightly hurt – 201112 1415z

An airliner flying from Havana to Milan abruptly plunged some 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) when it hit unusually strong turbulence over the Atlantic on Monday, terrifying passengers and leaving some 30 people aboard with bruises and scrapes, airline officials said.

The flight continued to Milan’s Malpensa airport after the plane’s captain determined that it suffered no structural damage and two passengers who are physicians found no serious injuries, Giulio Buzzi, head of the pilots division at Neos Air said.

The ANSA news agency quoted bruised passenger Edoardo De Lucchi as saying meals were being served when suddenly there was “10 seconds of terror.”

He recounted how plates went flying and some passengers not wearing seatbelts bounced about.

Buzzi had said that the drop measured some 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) in a cloudless sky.

But Milan daily’s Corriere della Sera’s web site, quoting Neos official Davide Martini, later reported that the plane first bounced up some 500 meters (1,650 feet), then dropped some 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) to some 500 meters (1,650 feet) below the original altitude.

Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 at 03:58 (03:58 AM) UTC RSOE

Venice 70% flooded after bad weather strikes northern Italy, set to hit Rome – Updated 131112 1310z

Floodwaters have drenched most of Venice and led to the evacuation of 200 people in Tuscany, as bad weather hit northern Italy.

Venice flooded
(Click photo for source, for details & pictures)

In Venice itself, heavy rains and winds from the south triggered “acqua alta” (high water) and 70 per cent of the city was flooded, with sea levels reaching a peak of 1.5 metres above normal before receding slightly, they said.

In Tuscany, around 200 people were evacuated because of heavy rains that flooded homes and caused mudslides, local officials said. The most affected region was the province of Massa and Carrara, which produces the famous Carrara marble.

In Massa di Carrara alone, some 50 people were evacuated and a car was carried away by an overflowing river, but the couple in the vehicle were saved by firefighters.

The authorities have urged the local population to avoid going into the streets and to stay in the the upper floors of their homes.

In Pisa, some streets have been without electricity following the floods.

In the large Tuscan port of Livorno, civil defence forces were on alert because of the heavy rains.

In Liguria, the region bordering Tuscany, 30 people had to be evacuated, the authorities said.

In anticipation of the floods two days ago, the authorities issued warnings and planned security measures to avoid any casualties after 13 people died in Tuscany and Liguria a year ago.

The bad weather was heading slowly towards the centre of the country and was set to hit Rome where civil defence forces have been put on alert.

Sunday, 11 November, 2012 at 18:36 (06:36 PM) UTC RSOE

Satellite images – Europe (
(Click image for source/animation)

Torrential rain – River Serchio full once again

“For the third time in less that 30 days, torrential rain during the night has brought the level of the Serchio river running through the bottom of the valley, up to worrying levels.

The river  starts up in the mountains of Garfagnana  and flows down the valley to the sea just past Pisa.

The authorities are keeping a careful watch on the amount of water rushing through with particular attention being paid to the Ponte di Diavalo at Borgo a Mozzano  which is at the moment of writing under tremendous strain from the force  of the water against its ancient structure.

Social networks and twitter were full of images late this afternoon of images showing just how much water was actually passing under the bridge.

One image even showing what looked like tourists or sightseers standing at the very top of the bridge in what must be a fairly precarious situation.

It certainly does make one think about the incredible ability of the builders of this bridge which has survived quite happily many hundreds of years.  It could well be that these  surges of water have been coming down the valley for  millennium, in  which case they were well prepared for the onslaught.  Either way,  the view today of the huge amount of brown surging water surging up and covering all but the main archway is impressive.

As you can see from the images and video below,  further up the valley, a huge amount of water passing under the bridges is no less impressive.

Also in the video can plainly be heard,  the crunching crashing sound of boulders rolling along the river bed push along by the force of the water.

Elsewhere in the Barga area,  a small landslide on the Loppia road  blocked traffic for a while before once again been opened to one-way traffic  later on in the day.” –

Heavy rains flood Venice and reach the sixth highest tide level in 150 years

  • “70 per cent of central Venice underwater today reaching 59 inches
  • Tourists waded through waters in wellington boots and donned swimwear
  • Iconic St Mark’s Square flooded leaving normally bustling square deserted

It may be known as the Floating City of love.

But romance was cast aside today as gondolas were swapped for wellington boots and swimwear.

High tides and heavy rain flooded Venice’s dry streets, leaving tourist hotspots virtually deserted.

Tourists chose to wade through the waters in boots, with one group donning swimwear to sit at a table in the iconic submerged St Mark’s Square.” – (link for good set of photos and video)

Venice‘s ‘Moses’ project (Video):


Inondazioni hanno la maggior parte intriso di Venezia e ha portato alla evacuazione di 200 persone in Toscana, come maltempo colpito il nord Italia.

Venezia allagata
(Clicca sulla foto per la fonte, per i dettagli e le immagini)

A Venezia stessa, forti piogge e venti da sud innescato “acqua alta” (acqua alta) e il 70 per cento della città è stata allagata, con livelli del mare che raggiungono un picco di 1,5 metri sopra il normale prima di allontanarsi un po ‘, hanno detto.

In Toscana, circa 200 persone sono state evacuate a causa delle forti piogge che hanno inondato le case e smottamenti causati, funzionari locali. La regione più colpita è stata la provincia di Massa e Carrara, che produce il famoso marmo di Carrara.

A Massa di Carrara da solo, circa 50 persone sono state evacuate e una macchina è stato portato via da un fiume in piena, ma la coppia a bordo del veicolo sono stati salvati dai vigili del fuoco.

Le autorità hanno invitato la popolazione locale, per evitare di andare per le strade e per rimanere nei piani superiori delle loro case.

A Pisa, alcune strade sono senza elettricità a seguito delle alluvioni.

Nel grande porto toscano di Livorno, le forze di difesa civile sono in allerta a causa delle forti piogge.

In Liguria, la regione al confine con la Toscana, 30 persone hanno dovuto essere evacuate, le autorità hanno dichiarato.

In previsione delle alluvioni due giorni fa, le autorità hanno emesso avvertenze e le misure di sicurezza previste per evitare vittime dopo 13 persone sono morte in Toscana e Liguria un anno fa.

Il maltempo si stava dirigendo lentamente verso il centro del paese ed è stato impostato per colpire Roma, dove le forze di difesa civile sono stati messi in allerta.

Domenica, 11 novembre 2012 alle ore 18:36 (18:36) UTC RSOE
Torrenziale pioggia – Fiume Serchio pieno, ancora una volta

“Per la terza volta in meno di 30 giorni, piogge torrenziali durante la notte ha portato il livello del fiume Serchio che attraversa il fondo della valle, fino a livelli preoccupanti.

Il fiume nasce tra le montagne della Garfagnana e scorre lungo la vallata fino al mare appena passato Pisa.

Le autorità stanno mantenendo con attenzione il la quantità di acqua che scorre veloce attraverso, con particolare attenzione al Ponte di Diavalo a Borgo a Mozzano, che è al momento di scrivere sotto sforzo tremendo dalla forza dell’acqua contro la sua antica struttura.

I social network e twitter erano pieni di immagini nel tardo pomeriggio di immagini che mostrano quanta acqua è stata effettivamente passando sotto il ponte.

Un’immagine che mostra anche quello che sembrava turisti o curiosi in piedi presso la cima del ponte in quello che deve essere una situazione abbastanza precaria.

Certamente fa pensare circa l’incredibile capacità dei costruttori di questo ponte, che è sopravvissuto tranquillamente centinaia di anni. Potrebbe anche essere che queste ondate di acqua sono venuti giù per la valle di millennio, in questo caso, erano ben preparati per l’assalto. In entrambi i casi, la vista oggi l’enorme quantità di acqua marrone in aumento in aumento e che copre tutto l’arco principale, ma è impressionante.

Come potete vedere dalle immagini e video qui sotto, più in alto della valle, una quantità enorme di acqua che passa sotto i ponti non è meno impressionante.

Anche nel video può chiaramente essere ascoltato, il suono scricchiolio schianto di massi rotolanti lungo il letto del fiume, lungo spingere dalla forza delle acque.

Altrove nella zona di Barga, una piccola frana sulla strada Loppia bloccato il traffico per un po ‘prima, ancora una volta stato aperto al traffico a senso unico più tardi nel corso della giornata “-.
Pesanti piogge inondazioni Venezia e raggiungere il sesto livello più alta marea in 150 anni

“Il 70 per cento del centro di Venezia sott’acqua oggi raggiunge 59 pollici
I turisti guadato attraverso le acque in wellington stivali e indossato costumi da bagno
Iconic Piazza San Marco allagata lasciando normalmente vivace piazza deserta

Essa può essere conosciuta come la città galleggiante di amore.

Ma storia d’amore è stato messo da parte, oggi come gondole sono stati scambiati per stivali di gomma e costumi da bagno.

Alte maree e piogge inondato le strade di Venezia a secco, lasciando mete turistiche praticamente deserte.

I turisti hanno scelto di guadare attraverso le acque con gli stivali, con un gruppo di indossare costumi da bagno per sedersi a un tavolo nel simbolico sommerso Piazza San Marco “-. (link per buona serie di foto e video)

Progetto di Venezia ‘Mosè’ (video):

70% of Venice flooded, bridges destroyed, landslides, vineyards and olive groves swept away – climate change blamed

A series of strong winds, high tide, and torrential rain has caused the iconic city of Venice, Italy to flood, with Sunday’s tide reaching its sixth-highest level since 1872.

Up to 70 percent of central Venice was flooded with photos showing businesses, homes, and tourist sites are covered in water, reports The Washington Post.

The flooding was caused by two weather systems which combined over the Mediterranean and the Balkans, pushing wind and water up the Adriatic Sea.

The resulting convergence also produced torrential rains seen in parts of northern Italy.

The flooding was so bad in St. Mark’s Square that tourists donned bathing suits to swim, sitting at cafe tables under the water.

There was no estimate to the amount of damage caused by the flooding, reports Reuters. Tuscany also saw torrential rains with nine inches falling in just four hours.

Mayor of Massa Carrara, Tuscany, Roberto Pucci stated: “It has been devastating. I saw at least six bridges destroyed in the hills, floods, landslides, vineyards and olive groves swept away. If there hasn’t been a death it’s a miracle.”

Local media reported that dozens of people were forced to take refuge on their roofs after rivers spilled over their banks in central Italy.

The country’s Environment Minister Corrado Clini called for extra funding to help shore up Italy’s weather defenses, because more bad weather is expected to come through the area on Tuesday.
Sunday’s incident is the fourth time Venice has flooded since 2000, creating record high water levels. The city’s environment officer believes that the latest flooding is the result of global climate change.

Tuesday, 13 November, 2012 at 04:01 UTC RSOE

Canada’s Globe & Mail has recent videos here

6 Scientists found guilty of #manslaughter for failing to predict #Italy #earthquake! – 231012 1350Z

L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy. A goverment’s office disrupted by the 2009 earthquake
(Click image for more on L’Aquila earthquake)

Scroll down for latest update

Copied from BBC News:

Six Italian scientists and an ex-government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 deadly earthquake in L’Aquila.

A regional court found them guilty of multiple manslaughter.

Prosecutors said the defendants gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defence maintained there was no way to predict major quakes.

The 6.3 magnitude quake devastated the city and killed 309 people.

It took Judge Marco Billi slightly more than four hours to reach the verdict in the trial, which had begun in September 2011.

‘Alarming’ case

The seven – all members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks – were accused of having provided “inexact, incomplete and contradictory” information about the danger of the tremors felt ahead of 6 April 2009 quake, Italian media report.

Survivor Giustino Parisse spoke to Newsnight in 2011

In addition to their sentences, all have been barred from ever holding public office again, La Repubblica reports.

In the closing statement, the prosecution quoted one of its witnesses, whose father died in the earthquake.

It described how Guido Fioravanti had called his mother at about 11pm on the night of the earthquake – straight after the first tremor.

“I remember the fear in her voice. On other occasions they would have fled but that night, with my father, they told themselves what the risk commission had said. And they stayed.”

‘Hasty sentence’

The judge also ordered the defendants to pay court costs and damages.

Lawyers have said that they will appeal against the sentence.

Continue reading the main story


  • Franco Barberi, head of Serious Risks Commission
  • Enzo Boschi, former president of the National Institute of Geophysics
  • Giulio Selvaggi, director of National Earthquake Centre
  • Gian Michele Calvi, director of European Centre for Earthquake Engineering
  • Claudio Eva, physicist
  • Mauro Dolce, director of the the Civil Protection Agency’s earthquake risk office
  • Bernardo De Bernardinis, former vice-president of Civil Protection Agency’s technical department

Reacting to the verdict against him, Bernardo De Bernardinis said: “I believe myself to be innocent before God and men.”

“My life from tomorrow will change,” the former vice-president of the Civil Protection Agency’s technical department said, according to La Repubblica.

“But, if I am judged by all stages of the judicial process to be guilty, I will accept my responsibility.”

One of the lawyers for the defence, Marcello Petrelli, described the sentence as “hasty” and “incomprehensible”.

The case has alarmed many in the scientific community, who feel science itself has been put on trial.

Some scientists have warned that the case might set a damaging precedent, deterring experts from sharing their knowledge with the public for fear of being targeted in lawsuits, the BBC’s Alan Johnston in Rome reports.

Earlier, more than 5,000 scientists signed an open letter to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in support of the group in the dock.

Related Stories

Update 23 Oct 2012:

Scientists aghast over Italian quake verdicts

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
October 23, 2012 — Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)

(CNN) — “Earthquake experts around the world say they are appalled by an Italian court’s decision to convict six scientists on manslaughter charges for failing to predict the deadly quake that devastated the city of L’Aquila. They warned the ruling could severely harm future scientific research.

The court in L’Aquila sentenced the scientists and a government official Monday to six years in prison, ruling that they didn’t accurately communicate the risk of the earthquake in 2009 that killed more than 300 people.”

“…Seismologists were aghast at the court’s decision, noting that earthquakes remain impossible to forecast with any kind of accuracy.

Full story from CNN (link)

Italy: Family found dead after gas explosion, 10 others hurt – Published 7 June 2012

Rescue workers are searching for a family of three who had been staying in a residential building in southern Italy that collapsed following an explosion caused by a gas leak today (Thursday).

(Image: Reuters)
Search teams picking through rubble in Conversano
(Click image to visit source)


At least 10 people in surrounding buildings were slightly injured.

Conversano Mayor Giuseppe Lovascio told Sky 24 Italian television that an Italian-Dutch couple with a small child had arrived from the Netherlands two days ago.

He said their whereabouts is unknown, and that authorities have tried calling their mobile phone, but it went unanswered.

`’We cannot rule out victims,” Lovascio said. Lovascio said the injured in the nearby buildings included a child.

The explosion occurred in the historic center of the town, which has been evacuated due to a smell of gas.

A second building that collapsed was not occupied. Conversano is located south of the city of Bari in the Apulia region, which forms the heel of the Italian boot.

Thursday, 07 June, 2012 at 12:00 (12:00 PM) UTC RSOE


Family found dead after gas explosion

Italy: Earthquake in Emilia-Romagna Region: Deaths rise to 17, 350 injured – 30 May 2012

A powerful earthquake in northern Italy has left at least 16 people dead, striking after another deadly quake in the same region earlier this month.

Officials say 350 others were injured in the 5.8-magnitude quake yesterday (Tuesday) with the epicenter in the Emilia-Romagna region between the cities of Modena and Ferrara.

The�tremor was felt across much of central and northern Italy, including the major city of Milan.

Several strong aftershocks later hit the region.

Rescue teams were dispatched to the scene trying to help people trapped in the rubble of collapsed homes, factories and churches.

Tuesday’s quake hit 58 kilometers east of Parma, where Italy was scheduled to play Luxembourg in a football match later in the day. Officials canceled the match.

A little more than a week ago, a 6.0-magnitude quake in the same region killed seven people, destroyed factories and historic structures, and left many residents homeless (Goaty: Some 14,000

The quake also caused millions of dollars in losses to the region’s agriculture sector, which is famous for its Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses.

Tuesday, 29 May, 2012 at 10:11 (10:11 AM) UTC RSOE
Updated: �� �Wednesday, 30 May, 2012 at 08:33 UTC RSOE

“The death toll in the latest Italian earthquake has risen to 17, as questions arise about the country’s building codes and possible corruption.

Italian rescue workers have removed the last earthquake victim from the rubble in the country’s North, bringing the death toll to 17 as the government approved measures to rebuild the quake-hit area so crucial to Italy’s economic health

The magnitude 5.8 tremor north of Bologna on Tuesday felled old buildings and new factories and warehouses alike, many of them already weakened by a stronger quake May 20 that measured 6.0 and killed seven people.

In both quakes, the death toll was disproportionately high among workers toiling in factories, leading to some questions about Italy’s building codes or possible corruption.” – SBS 30 May 2012

More (inc video) from SBS Australia

The Guardian tells of a 65-year-old woman that has been pulled alive from the wreckage of her home.

“The woman survived the 5.8-magnitude quake, which brought down her home, thanks to a piece of furniture that toppled over her and protected her from debris, firefighters told Sky TG24 television.

The house, in Cavezzo, was damaged when a 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit the area on 20 May. The woman was returning for the first time to retrieve clothing when the second quake hit on Tuesday.

The 14,000 locals left homeless by the two quakes were shaken overnight by about 60 aftershocks. At the end of a day spent sifting through debris, rescuers said three people had died in Cavezzo, three in San Felice sul Panaro, four in Mirandola, one in Novi di Modena, four in Medolla and one in Concordia.” – The Guardian

Meanwhile the Bangkok Post says, “Rescue workers ended their search for survivors on Wednesday after a second killer earthquake in northeastern Italy claimed 17 lives and caused millions of euros of damage.

(Photo: Bangkok Post)
A nun prays near rubble in Mirandola on May 30 after an earthquake the day before. Rescue workers ended their search for survivors on Wednesday after a second killer earthquake in northeastern Italy claimed 17 lives and caused millions of euros of damage.
(Click image to visit source)

While aftershocks as large as 3.8 magnitude continuing to shake the region, thousands of jittery survivors fearful of further tremors stayed close to camps where they had sought shelter and clung together for comfort.

Tuesday’s 5.8-magnitude quake, which centred 60 kilometres (35 miles) east of Parma and left 250 injured, hit just nine days after 6.0-magnitude quake killed six and left thousands homeless in the same region.

“Rescue workers have now called off their search,” a spokeswoman for Italy’s Civil Protection Agency told AFP.

Visit the Bangkok Post for more

(Image: BBC)
Earthquake location
(Click image to visit the BBC)

Update 6 June 2012:

Photos from the Italian Red Cross show the damage left by the earthquakes that struck Emilia Romagna in May:


At least 6 dead, many injured after strong earthquake shakes Bologna, Italy

BBC 20 May 2012 Last updated at 11:52: An earthquake in northern Italy has killed at least four people and caused serious damage to buildings in several towns, local officials say.

The magnitude-six quake struck in the middle of the night, about 35km (22 miles) north of the city of Bologna.

(Picture: BBC)

The four victims were killed by falling masonry. Italian media report two more quake-related deaths.

There are several reports, stating differing numbers of dead and injured:

AJE: At least seven people killed and many historical buildings damaged in 6.0-magnitude quake near city of Bologna.

At least seven people have been killed and up to 50 others injured in a 6.0-magnitude earthquake near the northern Italian city of Bologna, according to the Italian news agency ANSA

(Photo Al Jazeera English)

Disaster Report: Bologna, Italy Earthquake: At least 6 Killed

Powerful quake kills at least 4 in northern Italy

Earthquake Hits Northern ItalyWall Street Journal
Strong quake hits North Italy,at least four deadReuters
New York Times

Mafia suspected as bomb explosion hits Italy school, 16yr old girl killed, at least 6 others wounded (Video)

A bomb exploded in front of a school in southern Italy today, killing a 16 year-old girl and wounding at least six others, two seriously, authorities have confirmed

Italian policemen and fire fighters inspect in front of the school where a bomb exploded in the southern Italian town of Brindisi. (Photo: Reuters)
(Click on photo to see full story)

The explosion, near the entrance of a girls’ school named after the wife of murdered anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, occurred as pupils were preparing to enter the school at the start of the school day, which in Italy includes Saturdays.

Authorities said two gas canisters appear to have been placed in rubbish containers at the school, which local media said was located near the main court in Brindisi, a port city located in Apulia, on the “heel” of Italy.

Full story here:

“Mafia suspected as bomb attack at Italian school kills teenage girl and wounds seven.

Two students are reported to be in a critical condition. Unconfirmed reports said a second schoolgirl also later died” – Daily Telegraph

More here:

AP says one killed, “officials said at least seven students were injured, but some news reports put the figure at 10.”

Europe’s highest active volcano, Italy’s Mount Etna, erupted again on Thursday


Europe’s highest active volcano, Italy’s Mount Etna, erupted again on Thursday.

The eruption – which spewed blood-red molten lava and grey and white ash into the air – is the 24th in a series that started in January 2011. The Sicilian volcano has erupted three times in the past month, with regular 12 day pauses.

The main eruption is located at the south-eastern crater, not far from Zafferana Etnea village, but so far Italian authorities have not issued any warning of danger to houses and people. The south-eastern crater, born in 1971, has been the most active in recent years. In the recent past, lava flows have mainly damaged properties, but due to its slow speed the lava has not killed anyone. Heavy ash emissions sometimes force the closure of nearby Catania International Airport. For now, the airport remains open. Mount Etna, has erupted for the fifth time this year. Hot lava and ash spewed from the top into a valley nearby on the Italian island of Sicily.

The eruption happened on Sunday morning at 4am local time for more than an hour and a half. Although the area around the volcano was covered by ash, it didn’t affect planes travelling near it. Air traffic can be seriously affected when ash from volcanic eruptions is in the air.

In 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland erupted and flights in Europe and across the Atlantic were cancelled because the ash particles in the air made it unsafe to fly.

Friday, 13 April, 2012 at 04:45 UTC RSOE