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Flooding kills nine members of same family in Italy, raising storm death toll to over 30

“It is an immense tragedy,” a local mayor said today.

A view of the flooded house where nine people lost their lives in Casteldaccia, near Palermo.
A view of the flooded house where nine people lost their lives in Casteldaccia, near Palermo.
Image: Mike Palazzotto/AP/Press Association Images

Updated Nov 4th 2018, 11:57 AM

TWELVE PEOPLE, INCLUDING a family of nine, have died in floods on the southern Italian island of Sicily, rescue services said today.

Ongoing storms have claimed at least 30 lives and caused massive damage and disruption. Six Italian regions remain on high alert for storms.

The bodies of nine people were found in their house in Casteldaccia in the Palermo region, next to a small river which had burst its banks, rescue services said. Among the victims was a one-year-old baby and children aged three and 15.

Three other members of the same family managed to escape, one of them by climbing a tree, the Agi news agency reported.

“It is an immense tragedy,” the local mayor said today.

In a separate incident, a 44-year-old man was found dead in his car near Vicari, also in the Palermo region.

He had been trying to reach a service station he managed to help a colleague trapped there. A passenger in the car is missing.

Rescue workers are also searching for a doctor forced by the storms to abandon his car near the town of Corleone after trying to drive to work at the hospital there.

Two other people, a man and a woman, died after their car was caught in the floods in the region of Agrigente, a little further south on the island.

Troops were deployed to check the conditions of the main roads on the Mediterranean island Sunday.

Earlier this week, floods in Sicily had closed many roads and mayors ordered schools, public parks and underpasses shut.

Venice 

Italy, especially in the north and around Venice, has been hit by a series of strong storms which have claimed more than 30 lives and caused massive damage and disruption.

Trees covering the mountains in the Dolomites range were reduced to matchsticks, flattened by winds that tore through the Veneto region on Thursday.

“It’s like after an earthquake,” Veneto governor Luca Zaia said. “Thousands of hectares of forest were razed to the ground, as if by a giant electric saw.”

Italy’s civil protection agency described the weather lashing the country this week as “one of the most complex meteorological situations of the past 50 to 60 years”.

© AFP 2018 

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