Mudslides kill at least thirteen in Italy

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Friday, October 2, 2009

At least thirteen people have been killed after torrential rains caused mudslides in Italy on Friday.

City of Messina

The mudslides occurred in the city of Messina, located in the northern part of Sicily. The mud blocked rails and road, cut off communications, and destroyed several buildings.

Search and rescue teams were using dogs to locate survivors buried beneath the rubble. Around forty people were hospitalised.

"Most of the dead and seriously injured were in two buildings that collapsed in mudslides," emergency services spokesman Giampiero Gliubizzi told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Over one hundred people were forced to evacuate when mudslides threatened their homes, officials said. Some escaped onto roofs, where they were airlifted by helicopters.

"I didn't understand what was happening. I was at home and everything started moving. Then I found myself surrounded by rubble," said a survivor. Witness reports suggest the depth of the mud reached seven metres (23 feet) in some areas.


Sources

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