Landslide buries town with at least 11 feared dead as Italy declares emergency

A huge landslide has buried an Italian town with at least 11 people feared dead.

The catastrophic disaster on the holiday island Ischia, near Naples, also swept away cars and buses in devastating scenes.

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A wave of mud flowed through Casamicciola Terme, a small town on the volcanic island about 19 miles from Naples and the mainland, and completely submerged buildings and pushed cars into the sea.

The catastrophic scenes have caused locals begin searching for missing people, with 11 unaccounted for.

Rescue divers have come out in full force and are searching through the debris to find anyone they can.

Locals took videos of the catastrophe, which shows several buildings being smashed and one resident said it looked like “a waterfall of water and mud”.

Claudio Palomba, an official of the area, said that the death toll is currently at one as a body was recovered, but there are still around 11 people missing. Emergency services are working hard to locate and recover these people.

Two families, which include children, are believed to be still missing.

It has also been reported that around 160 people have been left homeless.

A spokesperson for the Italian fire service told RAI state TV: "Mud and water tend to fill every space.

"Our teams are searching with hope, even if it is very difficult.

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"Our biggest hope is that people identified as missing have found refuge with relatives and friends and have not advised of their position."

According to the emergency services, a massive rainstorm started the natural disaster, with six inches of rain in just six hours. This is the heaviest rainfall the whole island has had in 20 years.

Officials were sent from Naples, the nearest city, to help with the search but it was difficult to access the island due to the severe weather conditions.

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The Italian government gathered and declared the incident an emergency. With an urgent cabinet meeting, €2million (£1.7m) was granted to the area to help with the full scale operation and also to repair public services in the vicinity.

Pope Francis was amongst those to wish the residents well, with him reminiscing on his closeness to the people of Ischia.

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