At least 40 people are still missing and hundreds more have been left homeless in Sicily following days of heavy rain and mudslides. Twenty-four people are known to have died, but that number is expected to rise further.
The Italian government and regional authorities have promised to re-build places devastated in the area around Messina. But they stress it will take four or five months before homes for more than 500 people will be completed. One man said he feels he has lost everything: “I’ve been here 54 years. Where do I go? To live in another place I don’t know? All my memories are here, my friends…everything. I was born here and I should die here.” Search and rescue teams continue to look for victims buried beneath the mud and rubble. The Italian media has criticised what it calls “urban anarchy” where construction norms seem to have not been respected. This coupled is being blamed by some critics for the Messina tragedy. And, although the digging continues, there’s little hope of finding anyone else alive.