Heavy rainfalls hit Italian island, a dozen reported missing
ROME. KAZINFORM - KAZINFORM - Heavy rainfalls caused a violent landslide early on Saturday in the southern Italian island of Ischia, leaving a dozen people missing as mud and debris struck homes and streets and dragged cars to the sea at the local port, Anadolu Agency reports.
Many of the severely hit areas remained unreachable to rescuers, as about 100 people were reported stranded, local authorities said. The island’s mayor urged people to remain at home until the weather alert was over. Heavy rains are also forecast for the next few hours.
An early death toll of eight people, announced on Saturday morning by Italy’s Vice Premier and Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini, is still unconfirmed. The Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said in the afternoon that no deaths had been confirmed yet, while about 12 people were still missing.
«The situation is very complicated and very serious because probably some of those people are under the mud,» Piantedosi told RAI state-run TV. According to local media, one body has been recovered on the island so far.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported that at least 10 buildings had collapsed. A family with a newborn, which had been previously reported missing, was rescued and was receiving medical care, local authorities said.
On Saturday afternoon, firefighters and civil protection rescuers were still working to reach people blocked in the houses and on the streets covered by mud, using teams of sniffer dogs to help the search.
Ischia – known as Italy’s «green island» for its rich vegetation -- is a popular destination for Italian and international tourists. It was struck by a devastating earthquake in 2017, which killed two people and caused heavy damage in the areas of Casamicciola and Lacco Ameno.