A woman was found dead and around 10 people were still missing on the southern Italian holiday island of Ischia after a landslide engulfed buildings during heavy rain on Saturday, a local government official said.
The landslide struck in the town of Casamicciola Terme following heavy rainfall in the early hours of the morning, bringing serious flooding to the northern part of the volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea about 30 kilometres from Naples.
“Currently the confirmed death toll is one, a woman. Eight missing persons have been found, including a child, and there still are around 10 missing,” the prefect of Naples Claudio Palomba told a news conference.
Earlier, Italy’s interior minister said that a dozen people were missing. There was confusion after Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said that eight people had died, with authorities saying no deaths had been confirmed at that stage.
The Italian fire brigade tweeted that a rainstorm that started at 0500 CET caused flooding and landslides on the island. The landslide “buried a house”, while a car was dragged into the sea and the two occupants were rescued, it said.
The ANSA news agency, citing local police, said that buildings had been engulfed, with mud and water reaching the first floor of the houses.
The fire brigade mentioned difficulties in reaching the island with motorboats and helicopters due to bad weather. The landslide is said to have produced heavy damage in the Casamicciola and Lacco Ameno area.
Gianni Capuano, an official of Italy’s Civil Protection, said that families in danger were being evacuated.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she was in close contact with the Civil Protection minister Nello Musumeci, the Civil Protection Department and the Campania Region “to follow the evolution of the wave of bad weather that has hit Ischia”.
“The government expresses its closeness to the citizens and mayors of the municipalities on the island of Ischia and thanks the rescuers engaged in the search for the missing”, she said.