Blame the rain, the government or just geology, but extreme weather events are on the rise in Italy

So far this year, Rome has suffered an astonishing 44 sinkholes. Every two or three days, a new crater appears in the Italian capital’s asphalt. They’re normally the size of a small room, a few metres wide and a few metres deep. In February, though, six cars were sucked down into the bowels of the earth when 50 metres of via Livio Andronico fell away, causing entire buildings to be evacuated.

It’s not a new phenomenon: there have been an average of 90 sinkholes a year in Rome since 2010. In 2013, there were 104 and 2018 will surely surpass even that record. The problem is clearly getting worse: the streets are beginning to look like black emmenthal and everyone in Italy is wondering why the earth seems, in the words of the Jewish prophet Isaiah, “to stagger like a drunken man”.

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Read More Rome wasn’t built in a day but these days it feels as if it may collapse in one | Tobias Jones

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