4 Oct 2009

Mud toll expected to rise

6:56 am on 4 October 2009

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy expects the number of people killed in mudslides caused by heavy rains in Sicily, will rise to 50.

Forty people are still missing. The BBC reports 21 deaths and 80 injuries have been confirmed.

Some 250mm of rain fell on north-eastern Sicily for several hours before dawn on Friday, causing widespread floods in the city of Messina. A wall of mud swamped entire streets.

A massive mudslide near Naples in 1998 killed some 150 people.