Italy landslides: where did they happen, what caused them - how many people have died?

164 people have been left homeless

<p>A man looks out from the balcony of his home in Casamicciola on November 27, 2022, following heavy rains that caused a landslide on the island of Ischia, southern Italy. - Italian rescuers were searching for a dozen missing people on the southern island of Ischia after a landslide killed at least one person, as the government scheduled an emergency meeting. A wave of mud and debris swept through the small town of Casamicciola Terme early Saturday morning, engulfing at least one house and sweeping cars down to the sea, local media and emergency services said. (Photo by Eliano IMPERATO / AFP) (Photo by ELIANO IMPERATO/AFP via Getty Images)</p>

A man looks out from the balcony of his home in Casamicciola on November 27, 2022, following heavy rains that caused a landslide on the island of Ischia, southern Italy. - Italian rescuers were searching for a dozen missing people on the southern island of Ischia after a landslide killed at least one person, as the government scheduled an emergency meeting. A wave of mud and debris swept through the small town of Casamicciola Terme early Saturday morning, engulfing at least one house and sweeping cars down to the sea, local media and emergency services said. (Photo by Eliano IMPERATO / AFP) (Photo by ELIANO IMPERATO/AFP via Getty Images)

Rescuers were digging through mud for a second day in the search for people lost in an enormous landslide on the Italian resort island of Ischia.

One body was recovered on Saturday (26 November) and about a dozen people, including children, were reported missing in the port town of Casamicciola, feared buried under mud and debris that firefighters said was 20ft (6m) deep in some places.

Small bulldozers were being used to clear debris, and Italian media said digging was continuing by hand in some places and that teams of divers had been brought in. Giacomo Pascale, the mayor of the neighbouring town of Lacco Ameno, told RAI state TV: “We are continuing the search with our hearts broken, because among the missing are also minors.”

By Sunday, 164 people had been left homeless. Here’s all you need to know:

What caused the landslide?

The massive landslide before dawn on Saturday was triggered by exceptional rainfall, and sent a mass of mud and debris hurtling down a mountainside towards the port of Casamicciola, collapsing buildings and sweeping vehicles into the sea. One widely circulated video showed a man, covered with mud, clinging to a shutter, chest-deep in muddy water.

The island received 126mm (nearly 5in) of rain in six hours, the heaviest rainfall in 20 years, according to officials. Experts said the disaster was exacerbated by building in areas of high risk on the mountainous island.

Geologist Riccardo Caniparoli told RAI: “There is territory that cannot be occupied. You cannot change the use of a zone where there is water. The course of the water created this disaster.” He added: “There are norms and laws that were not respected.”

Where did the disaster happen?

Ischia is an island off the coast of mainland Italy. It is in the Tyrrhenian Sea and is at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples, about 19 miles from Naples.

A man looks out from the balcony of his home in Casamicciola on November 27, 2022, following heavy rains that caused a landslide on the island of Ischia, southern Italy. - Italian rescuers were searching for a dozen missing people on the southern island of Ischia after a landslide killed at least one person, as the government scheduled an emergency meeting. A wave of mud and debris swept through the small town of Casamicciola Terme early Saturday morning, engulfing at least one house and sweeping cars down to the sea, local media and emergency services said. (Photo by Eliano IMPERATO / AFP) (Photo by ELIANO IMPERATO/AFP via Getty Images)

How many people have died?

One body has been recovered so far. Initial reports from Italy had the death toll at eight but this has been revised down to one.

The search for survivors is continuing for a second day on Sunday (27 November).

What as the Italian government said?

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni convened a Cabinet meeting for later on Sunday to declare a state of emergency on the island.

“The government expresses its closeness to the citizens, mayors and towns of the island of Ischia, and thanks the rescue workers searching for the victims,” she said in a statement.