The heavy rains that are impacting Italy this week have caused flooding and a strong landslide that has led to several people missing on the small island of Ischia, in the Gulf of Naples. At first, the Infrastructure Minister, Matteo Salvini, had advanced that there would be eight deaths, but the situation is confusing. Later, the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, preferred caution and said that there were 12 missing. Only one woman has been confirmed dead, a foreigner married to a local man.
The torrential rain has fallen throughout the night until around 5 in the morning this landslide has taken place that has devastated the town of Casamicciola, where a part of the mountain has given way, has destroyed several of the houses and has dragged a car into the sea with two people inside who could have been saved.
Among the missing is a family with two young children.
According to the mayor of the neighboring municipality of Lacco Ameno, Giacomo Pascale, there are at least 20 to 30 isolated families and a dozen houses that have collapsed. The authorities have asked the residents to stay in their homes while the reinforcements of the emergency teams from Naples and Pozzuoli act. Firefighters and members of the Civil Protection are already in the affected area digging in the mud in search of the missing, including a family made up of a father, a mother and two children who have not yet been found.
Nearly all of Casamicciola’s residents are stuck in their homes without power, with houses flooded downstairs. Another group of people has been locked up in the Terme Manzi hotel, but they have already been released by the rescue teams.
Ischia is an island of only 46.4 square kilometers and six municipalities formed after volcanic eruptions. It is well known to tourists who visit the Campania archipelago, and together with Capri it is seen as one of the most beautiful in Italy for its rocky coasts, its beaches and its thermal establishments of volcanic origin. Its colorful fishermen’s houses attracted the poet Pablo Neruda, who settled here during his exile. But it is also known for its danger, since in the past there have been many earthquakes that have been suffered in the area. The last, a magnitude 4 earthquake on the Richter scale that left two dead in 2017.
The Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, has reported that she is in contact with the Minister for Civil Protection and Maritime Policies, Nello Musumeci, as well as with the Department of Civil Protection and the Campania region to follow the evolution of the tragedy. “The Government expresses its closeness to the citizens and the mayors of the municipalities on the island of Ischia and thanks the rescue teams involved in the search for the disappeared,” her press office reported in a statement.