A woman has been found dead and about 10 people are still missing on the southern Italian holiday island of Ischia after a landslide engulfed buildings during heavy rainfall on Saturday, a local Italian government official said.
Torrential rain hit the port of Casamicciola Terme, one of the island’s six small towns, in the early hours, causing flooding and knocking down buildings.
“Currently, the confirmed death toll is one, a woman. Eight missing persons have been found, including a child, and about ten are still missing,” Naples prefect Claudio Palomba told a news conference.
Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini said earlier at an event in Milan that eight people had been killed.
Seventy firefighters are at work on the island, some 30 km from Naples, rescuing residents from damaged buildings and searching for missing persons, the Italian fire service said on Twitter.
Images showed thick mud, rubble and stones in Casamicciola Terme. Several cars were submerged on the shoreline, apparently pushed out to sea by the storm.
“There are some difficulties in the rescue operations because the weather conditions are still challenging,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi told reporters in Rome.
Ischia is a volcanic island that draws visitors to its thermal baths and picturesque hilly coastline. It is densely populated and statistics show that a large number of houses have been built illegally, putting residents in permanent danger from floods and earthquakes.
In 2006, a father and his three daughters were killed in a landslide on the island.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she was in close contact with Civil Protection Minister Nello Musumeci, the Department of Civil Protection and the local region of Campania.
“The government expresses its solidarity with the citizens and mayors of the municipalities of the island of Ischia and thanks the rescuers who are committed to the search for the missing,” she said.
The south of Italy, where houses are often built illegally, bypassing safety regulations, is prone to deadly landslides. In 1998, at least 150 people died when the village of Sarno, also not far from Naples, was flooded.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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