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Italy Flash Floods Kill 9

Broken cars are blocked in mud and debris in a street of Monterosso, one of the five villages that make up the Five Lands after overnight floods in the Spezia region, October 26, 2011

At least nine people have died and several others are missing after torrential rains caused flash flooding in central and northern Italy.

About 50 centimeters of rain fell in just a few hours overnight Tuesday, causing rivers to flood and bridges to collapse, while landslides and mudslides made many roads impassable. The hardest-hit areas were the Tuscany and Liguria regions.

The flooding has disrupted electricity, water, gas and telephone services, while trains were stopped in areas with landslides.

Police have rescued dozens of people, but the rain is hampering rescue operations. Authorities have warned residents not to go out.

The bad weather was expected to spread to the rest of Italy Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.