Death Toll Revised; 1 Dead, up to 12 Missing in Italian Landslide


Italian officials on Saturday revised downward the death toll from a landslide on the island of Ischia.

Italian officials now say one woman has died, while 10-12 people are missing, Naples prefect Claudio Palomba told reporters Saturday. 

“Currently the confirmed death toll is one, a woman. Eight missing persons have been found, including a child, and there still are around 10 missing,” Palomba said, adding that around 100 people living close to the landslide area had been evacuated.

There was confusion earlier over the death toll, when Vice Premier Matteo Salvini said eight people were dead, but the interior minister said no one had died but that about a dozen people 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 TV from an emergency command center in Rome.

Heavy rain, as much as 126 millimeters in six hours, triggered the landslide. A wave of mud hit Casamicciola Terme, one of the island’s six towns, engulfed at least one house and swept several cars out to sea. 

Officials have asked residents who live in the island’s other towns, but have not been affected by the landslide, to stay home to avoid hindering the rescue operation.  

Ischia is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, and is about 30 kilometers from Naples, the nearest major city.

Emergency workers from Naples have been dispatched to the island, but weather conditions are making it difficult to reach the island. 

In 2017, an earthquake in Casamicciola Terme killed two people. 

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.

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