Climate change culprit as severe floods force Imola F1 GP to be cancelled
Eight people have died and as many as 5,000 people have been evacuated after rivers surged by days of flooding bursting the region's banks, nearby towns and cities, including the famous moto-racing circuit Enzo e Dino Ferrari, popularly known as Imola.
GP Fans reported that a study by the Cross Dependency Initiative earlier this year determined that Emilia Romagna is among the top ten European regions most at risk from climate change. Last year, the area suffered from an extreme drought, an event rendered more likely by the effects of climate change. Drought causes soil to absorb water including rainfall less well, and can lead to subsequent flooding.
Emilia Romagna suffered from unprecedented rainfall this month, leading to severe floods caused by overflowing riverbeds. Over 198 millimetres of rain fell in one area in just 24 hours, causing the Lamone river to rise from its normal depth of one metre to over 11 metres.
F1, in a statement, said it had decided not to proceed with the GP following discussions between Formula 1, the President of the FIA, the authorities including the relevant ministers, the President of the Automobile Club of Italy, the President of Emilia-Romagna Region, the Mayor of the City and the promoter.
"The decision has been taken because it is not possible to safely hold the event for our fans, the teams and our personnel and it is the right and responsible thing to do given the situation faced by the towns and cities in the region.
"It would not be right to put further pressure on the local authorities and emergency services at this difficult time," the statement added.
The situation highlights the threat of climate change, and the increased frequency of extreme weather events, to Formula 1.
Sources: GP Fans & F1
Main image: Twitter @KWTWeather