Landslide leaves up to a dozen missing on Italian island – Boston News, Weather, Sports

MILAN (AP) – Heavy rains triggered landslides on the southern Italian island of Ischia early Saturday that left up to 12 people missing as they cut a muddy swath through a port town, causing buildings to collapse and cars to be swept into the sea.

Italy’s interior minister said no deaths had been confirmed, which appeared to contradict an early announcement by another senior official.

“At the moment there are no confirmed deaths,” said Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi from the fire department’s emergency control center.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who is also infrastructure minister, had previously said eight deaths had been confirmed while speaking to reporters at the opening of a metro extension in Milan.

The prefect for the Naples region, which includes Ischia, said at least 12 people were missing. Claudio Palomba was also quoted by the Italian media as saying that no deaths had been confirmed.

The force of the mud sliding down the mountainsides was strong enough to throw cars and buses into the sea at the port of Casamicciola on the north end of the island. Roads were impassable and mayors on the island urged people to stay home. At least 100 people were reported stranded.

The ANSA news agency reported that at least 10 buildings had collapsed. A family with a newborn previously reported missing has been located and is receiving medical attention, the Naples prefect said.

Firefighters and the Coast Guard worked on rescue efforts. Reinforcements arrived by ferry, including teams of sniffer dogs to aid in the search effort.

The densely populated mountainous island is a popular tourist destination for both its beaches and spas. A magnitude 4.0 quake on the island in 2017 killed two people and caused extensive damage in the towns of Casamicciola and neighboring Lacco Ameno.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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