Floods killed 12 people on the island of Sicily, including nine members of a single family, pushing Italy’s week-long storm toll beyond 30, rescuers said Sunday.
After a river burst its banks, the bodies of the family including children aged one, three and 15 were discovered in the town of Casteldaccia in the Palerno region.
Their house was near a small river which had burst its banks, rescue services said. The other victims’ ages ranged from 32 to 65. Three family members managed to escape, one by climbing a tree, the Agi news agency reported.
“I lost everything, I have nothing left, just my daughter,” one of the survivors, 35-year-old Giuseppe Giordano, told journalists.
His wife, two other children, his parents, brother, and sister all died, he said.
After flying over Casteldaccia on Sunday, Sicilian prosecutor Ambrogio Cartosio described scenes of “total disaster”.
Officials have opened an investigation to determine whether houses built near the river had complied with safety norms.
In a separate incident in Sicily, a 44-year-old man was found dead in his car near Vicari, also in the Palermo region.
He had been trying to reach a service station, where he was the manager, to help a colleague trapped there. A 20-year-old passenger in the car with him is still missing.
Violent winds and strong rain had killed at least 20 other people this week around Italy, especially in the northern parts and around Venice.
Two were reported killed on Friday, including a 62-year-old Germany tourist struck by lightning in Sardinia.
Six regions remain on high alert for storms.