Four people died and about 20 have been injured, four of them seriously, in flooding Sunday morning caused when a small river overflowed in the town of Refrontolo, in northwestern Italy's Treviso province.

So far, authorities have identified only two of the fatalities, a 52-year-old man and a 67-year-old man.

Heavy rains that fell in just a few minutes early Sunday morning caused the Lierza creek to overflow, flooding the town while about 100 residents were out on the street holding a local celebration and many of them were unable to escape the waters in time to avoid injury or worse.

Witnesses described a river of water and mud a meter (yard) high that swept through town and carried away everything in its path.

Emergency teams worked through the night to try and rescue people who had been out in the streets and help those trapped in their homes, and they ruled out additional victims, saying everyone had been accounted for.

The Civil Protection service said that the situation is "very serious" and that the flooding had also affected other nearby towns such as Tarzo, Zuel, Milies and Cison di Valmarino, where the rain had also caused landslides.

The president of the Veneto region, where Treviso is located, Luca Zaia, on Sunday morning visited the affected area and announced that he would declare a state of emergency. EFE