ROME — One woman died and around a dozen other people were still missing yesterday after heavy rains caused a landslide on the Italian island of Ischia, officials and emergency services said.
A wave of mud and debris swept through the small town of Casamicciola Terme in the early hours of yesterday morning, engulfing at least one house and sweeping cars down to the sea, media reports and emergency services said.
A woman’s body was found by rescuers, while around a dozen or so people were unaccounted for by early Saturday evening, according to the prefect of Naples, Claudio Palomba.
He said however that some of those reported missing earlier were later found safe, including one family with a newborn baby.
“We are afraid that there might be other victims, but so far the current figure is one dead,” Luca Cari, a spokesman for the fire service, told AFP.
The rescue effort was hampered by continued rain and high winds, which also delayed ferries bringing reinforcements from the mainland.
Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi had earlier warned there were people trapped in the mud, saying it was a “very serious” situation.
However, he denied a statement by his colleague Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister, that eight people had died, saying this had not been confirmed. — AFP