10 dead in Sicily floods

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This picture taken on 4 November 2018 shows the flooded house where nine people of the same family died after a small river burst its banks in Casteldaccia near Palermo on the southern Italian island of Sicily. (Photo by Alessandro FUCARINI / AFP)

ROME, Italy — Ten people, including a family of nine, have died in floods around Palermo on the southern Italian island of Sicily, rescue services said Sunday as fierce storms continue to exact a deadly toll.

They said the bodies of the family, including children aged one, three and 15, were found in their house in Casteldaccia next to a small river which had burst its banks.

Three other members of the same family were able to escape, according to the Agi news agency.

Separately a man was found dead in his car while two other people are missing.

Earlier this week in Sicily, floods closed many roads and mayors ordered schools, public parks and underpasses shut.

Italy, especially in the north and around Venice, has been hit by a series of strong storms which have claimed at least 20 lives and caused massive damage and disruption.

Trees covering the mountains in the Dolomites range were reduced to matchsticks, flattened by winds that tore through the Veneto region on Thursday.

“It’s like after an earthquake,” Veneto governor Luca Zaia said. “Thousands of hectares of forest were razed to the ground, as if by a giant electric saw.”

Italy’s civil protection agency described the weather lashing the country this week as “one of the most complex meteorological situations of the past 50 to 60 years”.

p: wjg

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