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Deads and victims in Sicily floods

Italy government declared a state of emergency after flash floods and mudslides in and around Messina left at least 18 dead and 10 missing.

Torrential rains dumped 230cm of water on the Sicilian cities and villages, most of all Messina, in less than an hour knocking down houses and leaving dozens of people waiting on their roofs to be rescued.

Mudslides were said to have cut off access to some of the hardest-hit areas forcing rescuers to get there on foot. The first evacuees were loaded onto boats and flown out in helicopters as workers struggled to clear the roads.

So far, 15 people have been taken to hospital with injuries, two of them in serious condition.

Civil protection chief Guido Bertolaso has been dispatched to supervise relief efforts.

by S. C.
03 october 2009, World News > Italy