Italian Red Cross helps hundreds affected by deadly floods in Emilia-Romagna region

The death toll from devastating floods and landslides in northern Italy had reached 14 by late Thursday, authorities said, and could rise further over the weekend.

More bodies were found on Thursday after severe flooding and multiple landslides hit dozens of cities and towns across the northern region, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.

The flooding left a trail of destruction in its wake, damaging homes and shops, while storm debris blocked roads and disrupted train travel, according to media reports.

The coastal region of Emilia-Romagna was struck twice, first by heavy rain two weeks ago on drought-parched ground that could not absorb it, causing rivers to overflow overnight.

The area was particularly vulnerable. Its location between the Apennine mountains and the Adriatic Sea trapped the weather system this week that dumped half the average annual amount of rain in 36 hours.