An estimated over 200 Dutch tourists in northern Italy who had reported damage to an emergency center after a severe hailstorm will be picked up by bus on Saturday. SOS International, the emergency center coordinating the bus transport, announced this. Six to seven buses will head from the Netherlands to Italy, with room for about 40 people per bus.
“Almost all places are already reserved,” said a spokesperson for SOS International. “So more bus rides are coming.” The transport is jointly arranged by the Dutch emergency centers. In addition to SOS International, these are the ANWB, Eurocross, VHD, and Allianz. Employees of SOS International will go along to get the right people on the right bus, said the spokesperson.
The involved Netherlands residents are on holiday in various places around Lake Garda. In the night from Monday to Tuesday, extreme weather with heavy hail and thunderstorms caused a lot of damage to cars, caravans, and campers, for example. By Wednesday afternoon, SOS International, the ANWB, and Eurocross received almost 1,400 damage reports from Dutch holidaymakers. The storm damaged some vehicles so much that they could no longer run.
A spokesperson for SOS International said that the control centers called some of the affected travelers on Wednesday to ask if they were interested in bus transport. “Some people are very happy with that, but some people also asked for a replacement car or flight. We understand that, but unfortunately, we cannot provide a car for everyone.”
The organization asked holidaymakers to show patience and understanding. “The most difficult job is to get everyone home to their satisfaction. We also have to repatriate the damaged cars and caravans. That will take days.”
The organization works with smaller recovery vehicles that can hold three cars at a time. “It is a huge logistical operation that we are far from done with.”
Reporting by ANP