At least 13 people have died and more are missing after heavy rain triggered mudslides in the Italian city of Messina in northern Sicily.
The violent mudslides and flooding destroyed several buildings, swept away cars and blocked road and rail links. Some of the victims were trapped when mud and debris engulfed their homes following the overnight storm. In places the water came so quickly that people did not have time to scramble out of their cars Rescue workers have been digging through the mud to get to survivors. One survivor said: “We were completly abandoned. Nobody came to help us.. We’re lucky to be able to tell you this. Some of us are no longer here to be witnesses.” Another resident said: “There was a project to strengthen the hill but the mayor still hadn’t decided where to being the work. Everyone knew here that the mountain was going to collapse. Everyone knew! The mayor of Messina urged doctors, nurses and volunteers to come to the stricken zone to help Many of the residents were trying to clean up the damage themselves, sweeping away mud and debris from pavements