Three Killed in Messina Mudslides

Wed, 11/23/2011 - 06:39

Torrential rains in Sicily have led to the death of three people, including a 10-year-old boy.

Authorities initially reported four fatalities but one woman reported missing was later rescued alive.

The three deaths occurred when a mudslide hit the town of Saponara in Messina.

"The area where the tragedy took place wasn't considered at risk", said Nicola Venuto, the mayor of Saponara.

Heavy rains also hit Calabria, where 20 rail passengers sustained minor injuries when a train there was derailed by falling rocks.

Just two years ago, in 2009, an inordinate amount of rain in the Messina area caused mudslides going through several small villages killing 31 people with other 6 still reported as missing. Last October, the town of Giampilieri, the most hit town in 2009, commemorated the disaster planting 37 trees in memory of the victims. While many of the people who lost their homes in the tragedy have now been rehoused, others are still waiting to be rehoused. Giampilieri inhabitants recently protested because there has been no public enquiry yet and the funding central government promised after the tragedy has not been forthcoming. They claim they feel ignored by central government and treated as second class citizens.

Extreme weather in Italy has claimed 20 lives in the last month.