The death toll from flash floods that hit central Italy on Friday has risen to 11, and 50 others were injured.
According to authorities, two other people were missing.
Severe weather devastated the coastal city of Ancona – the region’s capital – and the surrounding villages, with more than 400 mm of rain falling in just a few hours.
Hundreds of firefighters came to rescue people stranded and stuck in floods, providing lifeboats and assistance.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported that among the missing are an eight-year-old girl and her mother.
Some victims have also found themselves climbing trees or scrambling on rooftops to wait for rescue.
“It wasn’t a water bomb, it was a tsunami,” Riccardo Pasqualini, the mayor of Barbara, told Italian state radio of the sudden downpour Thursday evening that devastated his town.
The 112 emergency number received a spike in phone calls amidst an incident that the Civil Protection’s regional councillor, Stefano Aguzzi, described as “unexpected”.
“We hadn’t seen [anything] alarming,” he added. “There wasn’t any time to intervene [in some towns], there were some people who maybe were driving or had left home without being aware of the risks.”
The tragedy unfolding in the Marche follows a pattern of strange thunderstorms and turbulent weather that has affected the Italian peninsula for more than a month, following a record-breaking sweltering summer.
In Ancona, many were left without power, while schools will be closed on Friday in the hardest-hit areas.