Italy: a dozen people wanted after a landslide on the island of Ischia

A wave of mud and debris caused by heavy rains devastated the small town of Casamicciola Terme, in the north of the island, located off Naples, on Saturday morning.

The body of a woman has been found by rescuers, announced Claudio Palomba, prefect of Naples. Identified, she was 31 years old, according to the AGI agency. The Italian press also mentions thirteen injured.

Some of those initially missing were eventually found safe and sound, including a family with a newborn baby, the prefect said. But we had no news of a dozen people in the middle of the afternoon, according to Claudio Palomba. “We fear that there are other victims but, so far, the number (of victims) is (of a deceased person)”, told AFP Luca Cari, spokesman for the firefighters.

Government quack

Search operations were complicated by persistent rain and strong winds, which also delayed the delivery of reinforcements by ferry from the mainland.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi had previously indicated that several people were stuck in the mud, citing a “very serious” situation.

The management of the disaster gave rise to a government hiccup: Matteo Piantedosi denied the assertions of his colleague, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Matteo Salvini, who had given a balance sheet of eight dead. “At this precise moment, no death is confirmed,” said Matteo Piantedosi, before the announcement of the death of the thirties, while noting that the situation could still evolve.

The landslide sent torrents of mud into the streets, which flattened trees and swept away and dented vehicles in them, sometimes to the sea. It also “buried a house” and two people were rescued from a car that had been thrown into the sea, the fire department said.

At least 30 families are trapped in their homes by mud, without water or electricity, the ANSA news agency said, adding that the road leading to their neighborhood was cut off by the mudslide and by debris.

Rescue services had planned to evacuate 150 to 200 people before nightfall from Saturday to Sunday to temporary accommodation and local authorities have called on island residents to stay at home, so as not to hinder rescue operations. .

“Rescue operations remain complicated due to weather conditions,” according to the civil protection department, but the search continued into the night thanks to searchlights.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who tweeted that she was keeping abreast of the search operations, is due to discuss the crisis with her cabinet in an extraordinary meeting on Sunday.

Casamicciola Terme, a spa resort of 8,000 winter residents on the lush island of Ischia, near Capri, suffered an earthquake in 2017 that killed two people. On the other hand, it had been completely destroyed by a much more powerful earthquake at the end of the 19th century.

Saturday’s disaster comes weeks after eleven people died in floods caused by heavy rains in east-central Italy.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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