12 missing as landslide hits Italy
News Desk || risingbd.com
At least one person was killed and up to 12 went missing as heavy rainfall triggered a massive landslide early on Saturday on the southern Italian resort island of Ischia that destroyed buildings and swept parked cars into the sea.
The body of a woman was pulled from the mud, the Naples prefect Claudio Palomba told a news conference.
With raining continuing to fall, rescuers were working gingerly with small bulldozers to pick through some six to seven metres (yards) of mud and detritus in the search for possible victims. Reinforcements arrived by ferry, including teams of sniffer dogs to help the search efforts.
The force of the mud sliding down the mountainside just before dawn was strong enough to send cars and buses onto beaches and into the sea at the port of Casamicciola, on the north end of the island, which lies off Naples.
The island received 126mm (nearly five inches) of rain in six hours, the heaviest rainfall in 20 years, according to officials.
Streets were impassable and mayors on the island urged people to stay at home. At least 100 people were reported stranded without electricity and water, and about 70 were housed in a community gymnasium.
There was early confusion over the death toll. Vice-premier Matteo Salvini initially said eight people were confirmed dead, followed by the interior minister saying that no deaths were confirmed, while 10 to 12 were missing.
“The situation is very complicated and very serious because probably some of those people are under the mud,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi told RAI state television from an emergency command centre in Rome.
Seventy firefighters are working on the island, which lies some 30km (19 miles) from Naples, to rescue residents from damaged buildings and search for the missing, Italy’s fire brigade said on Twitter._Agencies