Italy's Meloni visits flood-hit region

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Meloni will hold a cabinet meeting to unblock emergency funds.
Meloni will hold a cabinet meeting to unblock emergency funds.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni donned wellington boots and visited flooded homes in northeast Italy Sunday, after returning early from the G7 summit in Japan following floods which left 14 people dead.

Meloni, who shook hands with mud-splattered home owners and volunteers, found speaking to those who had lost everything a "moving" experience, she told journalists in Ravenna.

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"You're doing a great job," the prime minister told a resident in Ghibullo who was donating food to the newly homeless, according to a video posted by Italian broadcaster Rai.

While 36,000 people were displaced by the incessant rains in Emilia Romagna earlier this week, some 10,000 or have since been able to return home, the region said Sunday.

The extreme weather, which saw six months worth of rainfall in just 36 hours, has caused widespread damage and hit farmers hard in an area which grows grain as well as fruit such as apricots and cherries.

By Sunday, the rain had stopped in most places, though a red weather alert was extended to Monday.

Meloni is expected to hold a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to unblock emergency funds for the region.