Heavy rain triggered a landslide on the southern Italian resort island of Ischia. The collapse destroyed buildings and dragged dozens of vehicles into the sea, leaving at least one dead and up to 12 missing.
A woman was found dead and 12 others remain missing on the southern Italian resort island of Ischia after a landslide affected buildings and vehicles following heavy rain on Saturday, according to authorities.
Claudio Palomba, prefect of Naples, confirmed at a press conference that the woman’s body was pulled out of the mud. “Currently the confirmed death toll is one, a woman. Eight have been found missing, including a child, and there are still a dozen missing,” said Palomba, adding that a hundred people who lived nearby have been evacuated. of the detachment area.
As the rain did not let up, rescuers worked cautiously with small bulldozers to search twenty or twenty feet of mud for possible victims. Reinforcements arrived by ferry, including teams of sniffer dogs to help with the search.
The force of the mud that slid down the mountainside just before dawn was strong enough to send vehicles and buses hurtling towards the beaches and into the sea at the port of Casamicciola, on the northern tip of the island, which is located against Naples.
Matteo Salvini, the infrastructure minister, said earlier in Milan that eight people had died, causing confusion in the death toll. Some seventy firefighters are working to rescue residents from damaged buildings and search for the missing, Italy’s fire brigade confirmed on Twitter.
“There are some difficulties in the rescue operations because the weather conditions remain challenging,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said.
The island received 126 millimeters of rain in six hours, the heaviest rainfall in 20 years, according to authorities, and left roads impassable. The island’s mayors urged people to stay at home. According to local reports, at least 100 people were left without electricity or water, and some 70 were housed in a community gym.
Benjamin Iacono told Sky TG24 that the mud flooded three adjacent stores he owned, completely wiping out his inventory. He estimated the damage at between $104,000 and $156,000.
A story that seems to repeat itself
Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister, said she was in close contact with Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci, the Civil Protection Department and the local Campania region.
“The Government expresses its closeness to the citizens and the mayors of the municipalities of the island of Ischia and thanks the rescuers who participate in the search for the disappeared,” he said.
Ischia is a volcanic island that draws visitors to its thermal baths and picturesque mountainous coastline. It is densely populated and statistics show that it has a large number of illegally built houses, leaving its inhabitants exposed to the ravages of floods and earthquakes.
In 2006, another landslide killed a father and his three daughters on the island. In 1998, at least 150 people died when mud engulfed the town of Sarno, also near Naples.
With AP and Reuters
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