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Widespread destruction after massive landslide hits the island of Ischia, Italy

Widespread destruction after massive landslide hits the island of Ischia, Italy - november 26 2022

The Council of Ministers declared a state of emergency after a massive landslide hit the Italian holiday island of Ischia on Saturday, November 26, 2022. According to official reports received early Sunday, at least 3 people have been killed and 9 others remain missing.

The slide caused massive destruction on the island, destroying homes and sweeping away vehicles.

The Italian fire brigade said it was caused by recent heavy rainfall, adding that reinforcements from nearby Naples have struggled to reach the affected region due to poor weather.

Rescuers said around 100 people were trapped in their homes without water or electricity.

Parts of the island were buried in up to 2 m (6.6 feet) of mud and debris.

There are 167 displaced people according to the prefect of Naples Claudio Palomba.

Ischia mayor Enzo Ferrandino described the incident as a “tragedy” and urged people not to leave their homes.

Update

The number of fatalities rose to 8 on November 28. There are still 4 people missing.1

“It is a race against time to secure the Celario road which leads to the heart of the red zone. The roadway has been largely cleared and the mud has been put away by bobcats on the sidelines,” the Italian news agency — ANSA reported.

While the firefighters continue to dig to recover the last missing persons, teams of volunteers are clearing the accesses to the houses to allow residents, accompanied by firefighters, to enter their homes and recover what is necessary.

160 firefighters operate on the island with 70 vehicles arriving from Campania, Lazio, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Puglia, and Molise. 

The Minister of the Environment and Energy Security, Gilberto Pichetto, spoke about illegal construction and the dangers it poses to residents of the island.1

Pichetto said he informed local authorities on November 22 about the serious risks for the population of Casamicciola due to the hydrogeological instability but had no reply from them.

“Following the orange weather alert, I had signaled the danger for the population of the area and asked for their evacuation.”

References:

1 Frana a Ischia: otto le vittime accertate, quattro i dispersi. Disposto lo stato di emergenza – ANSA – November 28, 2022

Featured image credit: Vigili del Fuoco (stillshot)

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