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Rains Kill 54 in Europe, N. Africa

November 07, 1994| Associated Press

MILAN, Italy — The worst flooding in more than half a century turned northern Italy into a disaster area Sunday and killed at least 54 people across southern Europe and North Africa.

With hundreds of people reported missing, the number of dead was expected to rise as rescuers reached isolated villages and searched through the rubble of destroyed homes.

The flooding, reportedly the worst in Italy since 1913, swept away bridges and whole sections of highway and cut off hundreds of villages.

Hardest hit was Italy's northern Piedmont region. At least 27 people were dead or missing. Twenty-four inches of rain had fallen in Piedmont over 60 hours by late Sunday. The rain was expected to continue another 24 hours.

In neighboring France, where six people died, the storms forced Nice's international airport to close until Tuesday. Phones, water, electricity and roads also were cut in hundreds of villages in southern France, Spain and across the Mediterranean in Morocco.

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