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Rescuers desperately try to save survivors after up to 12 are killed as terrifying landslide engulfs buildings and sweeps cars into the sea during heavy rain on Italian island

  • Torrential rainfall on the small Italian island of Ischia has triggered massive landslides, collapsing buildings
  • Emergency services are rushing to save residents who have become trapped in buildings and mudslides 
  • More than 100 people are still stranded and at least 12 are missing, as officials are unclear if anyone has died
  • One Italian minister said there had been no confirmed deaths, while another said eight people had died 

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Heavy rainfall has triggered massive landslides on the Italian island of Ischia, collapsing buildings and leaving as many as 12 people missing.

Italy‘s Interior Minister said no deaths had yet been confirmed, appearing to contradict an early announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini who said eight people had died.

Torrential rain hit the port of Casamicciola Terme, one of the six small towns on the island, in the early hours of Saturday, triggering major flooding which crushed cars and turned streets on the island into rivers.

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‘At the moment there are no confirmed deaths,’ said Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, speaking from the firefighters’ emergency co-ordination centre.

Mr Salvini, who is also the infrastructure minister, earlier said that eight deaths had been confirmed, speaking to reporters at the opening of a subway extension in Milan.

Torrential rainfall on the Italian island of Ischia triggered heavy landslides, sweeping away cars and collapsing buildings

Torrential rainfall on the Italian island of Ischia triggered heavy landslides, sweeping away cars and collapsing buildings

Emergency services are racing to rescue those trapped by the landslides, with at least 12 people still reported missing

Emergency services are racing to rescue those trapped by the landslides, with at least 12 people still reported missing

Cars were swept into the sea as catastrophic flooding battered the small towns on the island from the early hours of Saturday

Cars were swept into the sea as catastrophic flooding battered the small towns on the island from the early hours of Saturday

Dramatic footage shows a resident covered in mud trying to climb their way out of the swamp created by the landslide underneath a collapsed building as emergency services call to him and try to get him out

Dramatic footage shows a resident covered in mud trying to climb their way out of the swamp created by the landslide underneath a collapsed building as emergency services call to him and try to get him out 

Residents were evacuated from their homes as the mudslides collapsed buildings and cut people off from emergency services

Residents were evacuated from their homes as the mudslides collapsed buildings and cut people off from emergency services 

A whole bus was swept away by the landslides in the sea in Casamicciola as rescuers frantically search for those still missing

A whole bus was swept away by the landslides in the sea in Casamicciola as rescuers frantically search for those still missing 

The small rural communities on the island have been devastated by the flooding as enormous mudslides tore through the towns

The small rural communities on the island have been devastated by the flooding as enormous mudslides tore through the towns

Officials were unclear on the death toll, with Italy's interior minister saying that there had been no confirmed deaths while the deputy prime minister said there were eight

Officials were unclear on the death toll, with Italy’s interior minister saying that there had been no confirmed deaths while the deputy prime minister said there were eight 

The prefecture for the Naples region, which includes Ischia, said at least 12 people were missing.

Video from the island shows paths that the landslides had cut down slopes, leaving behind traces of mud. Streets were impassable and mayors on the island urged people to stay at home. At least 100 people were reported stranded.

The news agency ANSA reported that at least 10 buildings had collapsed.

One family with a newborn that was previously reported missing had been located and was receiving medical care, according to the Naples prefect, Claudio Palomba.

Firefighters were working on rescue efforts. Reinforcements were being sent from nearby Naples, but were encountering difficulties in reaching the island either by motorboat or helicopter due to the weather.

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