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Landslide in Ischia: five victims recovered, 3 others identified. A state of emergency has been established

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The body of a fifth victim has been recovered of the landslide that hit the Municipality of Casamicciola in Ischia yesterday at dawn. It is still in the Via Celario area where the rescuers are at work and where they have already extracted two bodies. Two other victims have been identified in the same area, but it has not yet been possible to free them from the mud. The ‘molecular’ dogs probably also tracked down the eighth victim of which the rescuers now know the position. At the moment the rescuers do not disclose the names of the victims also because for some of them the identity has not yet been announced.
A 21-day-old baby was also among the confirmed victims. The baby’s little body was recovered inside a home of rescuers with many difficulties and is currently located in the morgue of the Anna Rizzoli hospital in Lacco Ameno. The baby is one of 5 already recovered. There is also a 5-6 year old girl. The little girl was wearing pink pajamas. Her body was found in a bedroom, under a mattress, of a house overwhelmed by the landslide. Yesterday, under a meter and a half of mud, the body of Eleonora Sirabella, 31, was found. At the moment there are 8 missing.

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A family of three trapped in their home in the Celario area since yesterday morning was rescued, affected by the Casamicciola flood. The three, including a 90-year-old woman unable to walk, and another elderly person were reached a few minutes ago by rescue teams who made their way through the mud and debris and managed to take them to a safe area further downstream. The three are currently considered to be in good health and have been taken by some relatives. This family nucleus was already monitored: the three were not among the missing

There are four or five families who, 36 hours after the Casamicciola flood, have not yet been made safe despite the work of the rescuers. There are about 20 people including adults and children, all located in houses in via Pera di Basso which still do not have running water and electricity. Rescuers are sending a tanker to try and supply them with water but it is possible that these people will have to stay one more night in their homes.

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In the meantime, the Government met today at Palazzo Chigi and allocated, on the proposal of the Minister for Civil Protection, the first two million euros declaring a state of emergency that will last one year. The first allocation, Minister Nello Musumeci explained, “others will follow as soon as we have a survey of the damage and immediate needs. The reasoning on the reconstruction plan is different, which will concern public and private structures”. During the meeting, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni once again expressed closeness to the affected populations, stating that now the priority is to let rescuers and volunteers work without disturbing or hindering their work. As soon as conditions allow, the prime minister will visit the island to meet the communities. The executive has appointed Simonetta Calcaterra commissioner for emergency management. The president of the Region Vincenzo De Luca has stigmatized the unauthorized use underlining that “people must understand that in some areas it is not possible to live”. On the controversy over unused funds for prevention works, the mayors recalled that “municipalities are suffering and funds and personnel are needed”.

“With this morning’s Council of Ministers, the Government has given immediate response for Ischia by declaring a state of emergency and making an initial allocation of 2 million euros. I renew my closeness to the population and I express gratitude towards those who are involved in the relief efforts”. Thus the premier Giorgia Meloni on Twitter.

There are 167 displaced people according to the prefect of Naples Claudio Palomba, at the end of the meeting of the Rescue Coordination Center which took place in the Prefecture to take stock of the situation in Casamicciola. There should be 15 homes involved in the landslide. The missing should be members of 2 families and there should be at least 2 minors.

They ask to return to their homes, at least to recover some clothes, the displaced persons who had to leave their homes due to the flood yesterday morning. The displaced have been accommodated in a hotel in the area but many, at least for today, have found hospitality in the homes of friends and relatives.

Eleonora Sirabella, the first confirmed victim, had become aware of the imminent tragedy and had asked for help. The woman called her father who lives a short distance away, in the Municipality of Lacco Ameno, on her cell phone to ask for help. Once the man arrived he was blocked by the river of mud. The search for the other missing persons continued throughout the morning. Divers are also at work who are sounding the body of water near the port in the hope of identifying the bodies dragged into the sea by the violence of the mud and debris. “The search will not stop until we have clarified all the situations,” said the prefect of Naples, Claudio Palomba. Eight people who were staying in an isolated farmhouse were rescued by the fire brigade of the provincial command of Naples and by the Air Force soldiers. They were put on two helicopters and taken to the Lacco Ameno heliport.

Eleonora Sirabella

“I am close to the population of the island of Ischia, hit by a flood. I pray for the victims, for those who are suffering and for all those who have intervened to help”. Pope Francis said this at the Angelus.

Rescuers at work all night in Casamicciola in the hope of finding those missing from the landslide that swept away cars and homes, flooding whole neighborhoods with mud. The strong wind blowing on the island makes operations difficult but the activities go on. In the port, dawn returns the images of destruction caused by last night’s extraordinary event, while in the port you can clearly see the cars that reached the sea after a run of hundreds of meters caused by the wave of mud. The cleaning operations of the streets continue along via Monte della Misericordia and all the connected crossroads. The Carabinieri carried out anti-looting checks to protect the now empty homes.

A river of mud and debris hit Casamicciola, a town on the island of Ischia, around 5 am on 26 November. The damage is huge. The landslide came down from Mount Epomeo, behind the hamlet of the island, as happened in November 2009, and dragged boulders and debris that caused the collapse of at least 10 buildings.

The searches continue unabated. The fury of the water threw dozens of cars into the sea, even some that were parked not near the port.

Bad weather on the island of Ischia, landslide in Casamicciola

Landslide and missing in Ischia

Source: Ansa

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