Italian floods: Fresh weather warnings issued

People walk past part of cars and debris in a street of Genoa after heavy rainfall on 5 November 2011
Image caption Six people were killed in flash floods in Genoa on Friday

The Italian authorities have issued fresh safety warnings as storms and torrential rain continue to cause havoc across the country.

The River Po, Italy's longest river, rose 4m (13 feet) in the city of Turin, as thousands were told to evacuate.

One person has died in the province of Naples, bringing this week's country-wide death toll to at least seven.

Heavy rains have hit the country over the past two weeks, especially in the north-west.

The BBC's David Willey in Rome says millions of Italians, from Milan to Venice, are at risk if the flooding continues.

Schools closed

Thousands of people in low-lying areas near Turin have been told to leave their homes, while the city's schools, as well as those in Milan, were ordered to close on Monday as a precaution.

In Naples, an alert was issued as heavy rain caused widespread flooding on Sunday.

Local football matches were postponed, while a man was killed in Pozzuoli, north of Naples, when a tree fell on his car.

The ruins of Pompeii, on the outskirts of the city, were temporarily closed amid flooding fears, but later re-opened, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Geologists accuse the government of failing to provide a national emergency plan when bad weather batters the country.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has admitted that unauthorised building has exacerbated the problem, blaming lax local construction laws.

On Friday six people were killed in Genoa, the largest city on Italy's north-western coast.

Television footage showed cars floating and people wading knee-deep through flooded streets in the city.

Hundreds of shops were flooded and emergency officials urged residents to move to high ground as two rivers burst their banks.

Last week the government declared a state of emergency in the north-western Liguria region and in Tuscany, after storms lashed coastal regions, killing at least 10 people and causing widespread flooding and mudslides.

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