Eight dead, more still missing as Italian island hit by destructive landslide
The force of mud coming from the landslide was powerful enough to collapse buildings, displace residents and send vehicles into the sea.
Rescue missions are continuing on the south Italian island of Ischia Sunday, after heavy rainfall Saturday caused a massive landslide in the area. Eight people have been pronounced dead due to the landslide, with five still noted as missing.
Those still missing in the port town of Casamiccola on the north end of the island are feared to be buried under mud and debris, after the landslide created a muddy environment through the town. The force of the mud that slid down mountainsides was strong enough that cars and buses were sent into the sea.
Building collapses were reported as result of the landslide, with Naples prefect Claudio Palomba stating that 15 homes were overwhelmed by the mud stream. Palomba also said that four were injured and more than 160 people were displaced.
The rainfall in the area was immense, as Ischia, which sits on the Bay of Naples, received nearly five inches of rain within six hours. According to local officials, this was the heaviest rainfall in Ischia in 20 years.
Rescuers stand next to a bus carried away after heavy rainfall triggered a landslide that collapsed buildings and left two dead with 10 still missing, in Casamicciola, on the southern Italian island of Ischia, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)
During an urgent Cabinet meeting on Sunday, the Italian government declared a state of emergency for the island, committing over $2 million for rescue missions and to restore public services.
To aid in finding the other missing persons, firefighters and the Coast Guard were working on rescue efforts, helped out by reinforcements arriving by ferry. Teams of sniffer dogs were assembled to help in search efforts.
Vehicles are covered in mud after heavy rainfall triggered a landslide that collapsed buildings and left at least eight dead in Casamicciola, on the southern Italian island of Ischia, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)
“There are some difficulties in the rescue operations because the weather conditions are still very demanding, but we are sending vehicles both by sea and for air overflights … (this is) a very serious evolving situation that needs to be followed,” Italy Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said.
Video taken after the landslides shows one car completely flipped upside down, while others were stuck in the heavy mud.
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