Formula 1 will donate one million euros ($1.10 million) to support communities affected by flooding in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, the sport announced on Friday, the catastrophe forcing the cancellation of Round 6 of the 2023 World Championship.
The Imola circuit would have hosted the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend but the race was cancelled due to the devastation.
F1 said in a statement the money would be donated to the region’s Agency for Territorial Safety and Civil Protection, Stefano Domenicali, the Formula 1 chief executive who was born and grew up in Imola, said local communities faced a terrible situation: “We must do everything we can to support them at this difficult time.
“That is why we are donating to help support the relief efforts on the ground. My thoughts, on behalf of the entire Formula 1 community, are with everyone affected and we want to thank the emergency services for their incredible work.”
The Imola circuit is named after Ferrari founder Enzo and his son Dino, with the Maranello-based Italian luxury sportscar maker also announcing a million euro donation.
At least nine people have been killed by heavy flooding and mudslides in the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna, and as many as 20,000 residents are being forced to evacuate, according to local authorities.
More than a dozen rivers burst their banks in the region
Among those killed are a married couple, who died in the village of Ronta di Cesena, authorities say. More than 20 rivers have burst their banks across the region, causing 280 landslides, the Civil Protection Department said Thursday.
The vice president of Emilia Romagna, Irene Priolo, told reporters that the rains were easing but that river levels were still rising, according to Reuters. The region, which has been suffering a prolonged drought, is under a red alert – the highest level warning or state of emergency for life-threatening weather events.
A total of 600 firefighters have been deployed from across Italy to assist with evacuations in the region after Italy’s longest river, the Po, broke its banks, the Italian Department for Civil Protection said in a tweet.
Residents in numerous areas across the region, including in the city of Bologna, were asked not to leave their homes.
On Tuesday at Imola, Formula 1 staff were asked to leave the site of the race as a precautionary measure, for what would’ve been the 2023 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend, the first event of the Formula 1 season in Europe, now that privilege goes to Monaco in a week’s time, weather permitting of course. (Reporting by Reuters & AFP)