George Clooney has pledged to help raise £50million for Lake Como, a small Italian village left flooded this week after being hit with torrential downpour.
The actor was among thousands caught up in the dramatic floods which came after 72 hours of torrential rain. He was staying at his lakeside property with his family when mud and debris cascaded through the town, submerging nearby properties.
Beginning on Tuesday evening (July 27), the heavy rain caused the banks of rivers and streams to burst which in turn transformed the road outside of Clooney’s Villa Oleandra home in Laglio into a river.
Speaking to Italian media, Clooney said: “In Cernobbio the situation is serious and in Laglio it is even worse. I have spoken to the mayor — there will be a lot of work, it will take millions of dollars, but this city is strong. It will react and return better than before. This is a very resilient city.”
The flooding was so severe that Lagilo mayor Roberto Pozzi had to order an evacuation of residents living in danger areas. Firefighters rescued 60 people in total around Lake Como, and about 50 residents were trapped in their homes when a landslide caused a gas leak in Brienno, located on the lake’s western shore.
Laglio mayor Roberto Pozzi told The Times that the recovery could take years and would cost millions of euros. “Anyone arriving in Laglio will have been tearing out their hair for the gravity of the situation,” he said. “Something like half a million cubic metres of material have crashed on to the town.”
The flooding has left 60 people homeless and officials estimate the total damage to be around £50million.
Pozzi told The Sun: “Through his contacts George has promised to help us reconstruct and rebuild. His help shows just how much he has our village in his heart.
“You could see he was deeply touched and he wanted to know how he could help.”
In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actor said he’s “not thrilled” but was jokingly grateful.
“As far as turning 60, listen, I’m not thrilled with it but it’s better than dead,” Clooney said. “So I’ll take it. I got two options.”