Rescue crews are working to reach towns and villages in northern Italy cut off from motorways, electricity and mobile phone service after heavy rains and flooding.
It comes as farmers warn of “incalculable” losses and authorities begin mapping out clean up and reconstruction plans.
The death toll from rains that caused two dozen rivers and tributaries to burst their banks stood at nine, with some people still unaccounted for, said Stefano Bonaccini, president of the hardest hit northern region of Emilia-Romagna.
That has prevented rescue teams from reaching residents and authorities from understanding the full scope of their needs, said Mercato Seraceno mayor Monica Rossi.
“If it rains anymore, the situation will be tragic,” Ms Rossi said on Sky TG24, standing on a road with a chunk missing from a landslide.
By Thursday morning, some parts of the city of Faenza were still underwater, with cars submerged and basements flooded by thick, gooey mud.
One family standing on their balcony said they did not have electricity, gas or food.
Other residents took shelter at a local gymnasium, where soldiers set up cots on the basketball court for new arrivals.
“The water just flooded all over.”
More than 10,000 people fled their homes, some plucked from rooftops or balconies by rescue helicopters and others ferried out on civil protection dinghies.
One family with a 20-day-old baby was rescued on Thursday morning, said Cesena mayor Enzo Lattuca.
Another packed their belongings into an inflatable pool that they floated down the thigh-high river of mud that was previously a street.
The drought-parched region had already estimated some one billion euros (£870 million) in losses from heavy rains earlier this month, but Mr Bonaccini said the losses now reached multiple billions given the widespread damage to farmland, storefronts and infrastructure.
Italian farm lobby Coldiretti said more than 5,000 farms with greenhouses, nurseries and stables have been flooded, covering thousands of acres of vineyards, fruit groves, vegetables farms and grain fields.
Mr Bonaccini has called for the national government to declare a state of emergency, something that is likely when the Cabinet meets next week after Premier Giorgia Meloni’s return from the Group of Seven summit in Japan.
Already, the region has said it is looking to reconstruction efforts and restoration of vital infrastructure.
“It will take gigantic work” to recover, Mr Bonaccini told a daily briefing.
The Superior Institute for Environmental Protection and Research has identified Emilia-Romagna as one of the most at-risk Italian regions for flooding, where both territory and populations face higher risks of “hazard scenarios” than the rest of the country.
The second downpour tested the ability of drought-parched soil to absorb water, the institute said, saying high sea elevations and bora winds against the coast may have contributed to the flooding of rivers and tributaries.
Pope Francis sent a telegram of condolences to the people of Emilia-Romagna, assuring them of his prayers, the Vatican said on Thursday.
Italy is not alone in coping with heavy rainfall, as parts of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia also reported flooding and landslides that required evacuations.