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Landslide hits Italian island of Ischia, one woman dead, 10 missing – SABC News

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A woman was found dead and about 10 people are still missing on the southern Italian resort island of Ischia after a landslide engulfed buildings during heavy rain on Saturday, a local Italian government official said.

Torrential rain hit the port of Casamicciola Terme, one of six small towns on the island, in the early hours, causing flooding and destruction of buildings.

“At the moment, the confirmed death toll is one woman. Eight people were found missing, including a child, and about 10 others are missing,” Naples prefect Claudio Palombo told a press conference, adding that about 100 people living near the landslide had been evacuated.

Earlier during the event in Milan, Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini said eight people had died.

Seventy firefighters are working on the island, about 30 km (19 miles) from Naples, to rescue residents from damaged buildings and search for missing people, Italy’s fire service said on Twitter.

Images showed thick mud, debris and rocks in Casamicciola Terme. Several cars ended up under water on the shore, apparently pushed into the sea by the storm.

A landslide on the Italian island of Ischia

“There are certain difficulties in rescue operations because the weather conditions are still difficult,” Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi told reporters in Rome.

Ischia is a volcanic island that attracts visitors with its thermal baths and picturesque, hilly coastline. It is densely populated and statistics show that there are a large number of houses that have been built illegally, putting residents at constant risk of floods and earthquakes.

In 2006, a landslide killed a father and his three daughters on the island.

Prime Minister Georgia Meloni said she is in close contact with Civil Defense Minister Nello Musumechi, the Department of Civil Defense and the local region of Campania.

“The government expresses its closeness to the citizens and the mayors of the municipalities on the island of Ischia and thanks the rescuers involved in the search for the missing,” she said.

Southern Italy, where houses are often built illegally to circumvent safety regulations, is susceptible to fatal landslides. In 1998, at least 150 people died when mud flooded the village of Sarno, also near Naples.

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