On the island of Ischia, close to Naples, a mudslide brought on by torrential rains swept away homes, leaving eight people thought dead and thirteen still missing.
As it approached the coast early on Saturday, the flood of mud and debris uprooted trees, swamped structures, and carried cars into the water.
According to reports, the missing include a family with a newborn baby and a 25-year-old woman.
It is rumoured that the weather is making it difficult to get to the island.
Numerous families were still cut off, according to the mayor of Lacco Ameno, one of the island’s municipalities, and some structures had collapsed. There are also rumours that several individuals are trapped inside a hotel on the island.
Heavy rains have been battering Campania, the region surrounding Naples and Ischia, and a weather warning for rainfall and strong winds is in place until Sunday.
Local authorities are urging residents to stay home to avoid hindering emergency services.
Italy’s infrastructure minister Matteo Salvini said eight people had died in the landslide, adding: “From north to south, this country needs to be protected because it is the most beautiful country in the world.”
But a top official in the nearby city of Naples told reporters that no deaths had yet been confirmed.
Like nearby Capri, Ischia, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, is a popular holiday destination for tourists and Italians alike.
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