Heavy rainfall has triggered landslides on the southern 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 another senior politician.
“At the moment there are no confirmed deaths,” said Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, speaking from the firefighters’ emergency co-ordination centre.
Italian Vice Premier Matteo 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.
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.