The death toll has risen to seven after a severe storm triggered a landslide on the southern Italian island of Ischia, authorities said Sunday.
Among the dead recovered by a search team were a 3-week-old child and a pair of young siblings buried in mud, The Associated Press reported.
The other victims were identified as the infant boy’s parents, a 5-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother, a 31-year-old island resident and a Bulgarian tourist, according to the news organization.
The island, located in the Gulf of Naples, is known for its natural hot springs and has a population of 20,000.
“We are continuing the search with our hearts broken, because among the missing are also minors,” Giacomo Pascale, the mayor of a town on the island, told Sky News.
Firefighters in Italy said that a rainstorm began at about 4 a.m. local time on Saturday, causing flooding and a landslide on the island, Reuters reported.
The island received nearly 5 inches of rain in six hours, officials said. That is the heaviest rainfall in 20 years, according to the AP.
Claudio Palomba, the prefect of Naples, confirmed that five people remained missing, according to the AP. Officials fear that more bodies are buried under the debris of the landslide, which struck the town of Casamicciola. The force of the landslide collapsed buildings and pushed vehicles into the sea, the news organization reported.
“Mud and water tend to fill every space,″ Luca Cari, the spokesman for Italian firefighters, told RAI state TV. “Our teams are searching with hope, even if it is very difficult.”
“Our biggest hope is that people identified as missing have found refuge with relatives and friends and have not advised (us) of their position.”
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