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Italy: Lost in a landslide in Ischia

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Status: 11/26/2022 1:31 pm

Many are missing and dozens are trapped in their homes after a landslide hit the island of Ischia. Infrastructure Minister Salvini initially spoke about the dead, which the Interior Ministry later contradicted.

Heavy rains have caused a landslide in the Italian island of Ischia. Many people, including children, are missing. Ansa news agency said they were living in houses damaged by landslides. Many buildings collapsed.

Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini initially said eight people had died. However, both the Interior Ministry and Naples’ Premier Claudio Palomba said there had been no confirmed deaths so far.

A violent storm triggered an avalanche of mud and debris in the morning. The municipality of Casamicciola Terme, in the north of the island, has been particularly affected. A video posted on Twitter by the local fire department showed images of the destruction: mud, trees uprooted and cars swept into the sea.

Reinforcements from the mainland

Residents were asked to remain in their homes. Civil Defense tweeted that many people were brought to safety from their homes. According to Ansa, 100 people are stranded in their homes without electricity and water.

According to the fire department, emergency services rescued two people from the car that had been swept away in the sea. One person was rescued from the mud. From the mainland, officials from Naples sent further reinforcements to the island. Reports suggest that boats and helicopters are having difficulty reaching the island.

Ischia’s mayor Enzo Ferrandino spoke of a “tragedy”. He had already on Friday ordered the closure of schools, parks and cemeteries on Saturday due to the reported storm.

Large variations in elevation on the island

Ischia is a popular holiday island located in the Gulf of Naples. About 70,000 people live in it. It is volcanic in origin. The differences in elevation are large on a relatively small island. Landslide risk is correspondingly high during heavy rains.

The affected municipality Casamicciola Terme has the island’s second largest port, measuring 46 square meters. Due to its numerous hot springs, it is particularly popular with spa vacationers. The city has a population of 8000.

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