Storm Ciarán has unleashed a wave of destruction across Tuscany, Italy. Heavy winds and rainfall have been attributed to the severe flooding that has claimed six lives and left several missing.

River Bisenzio, unable to contain the deluge, overflowed its banks, leading to a torrent of water that swept away cars, inundated homes, and forced residents to seek refuge on rooftops.

Hospitals in the region were not spared, with some medical facilities facing flooding. Commuters in their vehicles found themselves trapped in flooded underpasses.

The west coast of Tuscany faced waves reaching as high as 3.5 meters (11 feet 5 inches), leaving coastal communities grappling with the force of the storm.

Storm Ciarán’s destruction extended beyond Italy’s borders. Western Europe experienced the full brunt of the tempest, with winds reaching up to 207 km/h in France. Southern England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and Portugal faced the storm.

Widespread power outages and transportation disruptions were reported in multiple countries. Two people lost their lives in Belgium due to falling trees. Evacuations were deemed necessary on the Channel Island of Jersey.

Tuscany experienced unprecedented rainfall, with winds reaching speeds of up to 140 km/h, prompting regional governor Eugenio Giani to describe the situation as the worst in a century.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni declared a state of emergency for the hardest-hit areas of Tuscany, pledging resources and assistance for the recovery efforts.

In Vinci, west of Florence, a man and his wife were found dead after their car overturned in the treacherous floodwaters.

In Florence, concerns loomed over the potential flooding of the River Arno. However, the situation seemed to have stabilized by mid-morning.

Prato’s mayor Matteo Biffoni reported overnight events, with entire areas submerged and the ground floor of Santo Stefano Hospital in Prato partially flooded.

In Milan, residents faced flooding for the second time in the same week, as the River Seveso overflowed its banks. In the northeastern region of Veneto, one person was reported missing as Governor Luca Zaia revealed that 160mm of rain fell in 24 hours.

Further east, Slovenia and Croatia issued red weather alerts, with forecasters warning of high winds, hail, and thunderstorms, and authorities in Slovenia cautioning about one of the most potent cyclones in the past decade.