ROME, Italy - Six people were reported dead in the Tuscan port of Leghorn on Sunday after torrential rain and strong winds triggered flooding in parts of the country.
Several trees were toppled, as floodwaters submerged parked cars, filling up streets and clogging them with mud.
In a report, the Italian news agency ANSA said that officials had found the bodies of a 4-year-old boy, his parents and his grandfather in the flooded basement of their two-family home.
Following up, State TV RaiNews24 reported that before dying, the grandfather managed to save the boy's sister.
Filippo Nogarin, Mayor of Leghorn, a city of 170,000, which is a popular spot for travelers catching ferries to the islands of Elba and Sardinia, said in a statement on Twitter, "Livorno has never been so devastated by bad weather. The city is literally devastated,” and added that "a crazy amount of rain" pummeled the area in just a few hours.
The city of Livorno said on its website that the city witnessed more than 250 millimeters (10 inches) of rain between midnight and 0200 GMT that caused several streams to overflow.
The administration said on the website, “The emergency is not over.”
Nogarin adding that the weather forecasts did not suggest a cloudburst so violent in central Italy and appealed for volunteers to help in rescue and relief operations.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Leghorn province's interior ministry official, Anna Maria Manzones aid that by late Sunday afternoon two people were still missing.
Further, two elderly people were reported to have died in a hillside hamlet on the edge of Leghorn.
Local reports noted that the flooding had disrupted train service in parts of the Tuscan coast along the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Meanwhile, in Rome, Mayor Virginia Raggi asked citizens to stay home.
Several subway stations had to be closed in Rome, and the downpour quickly produced fast-moving streams in the streets.
The Serie A match between Italian soccer clubs Lazio and AC Milan, that was to start at Rome’s stadium at 1300 GMT, began a hour later because of the bad weather.
Until recently, Rome had suffered through three and a half months of drought.
After thunderstorms lashed the city on Sunday morning, the Rome City Hall issued an appeal, urging residents and visitors to go outside only for urgent reasons and to avoid parks.
Forecasters are predicting possible hailstorms and strong winds throughout the rest of Sunday and Monday.