Nine members of family killed in Sicily flooding

Nine members of family killed in Sicily flooding

Nine members of family killed in Sicily flooding

The other victims' ages ranged from 32 to 65.

Across the island, in the town of Cammarata, near Agrigento, the fire department said its divers were trying recover the bodies of two people swept away while driving on a road near the flooded Saraceno River.

Three family members managed to escape, one by climbing a tree where he stayed for more than two hours, the Agi news agency reported.

A survivor, Giuseppe Giordano, lost his wife, two of his children, his parents and a brother, Italian news agency ANSA said.

Sicily's prosecutor Ambrogio Cartosio described the situation as a "total disaster".

Officials have opened an investigation to determine whether houses built near the river met legal safety norms.

A man's body was also found on a guardrail along a Palermo-area road after floodwaters swept away his auto, Italian news reports said. A 20-year-old passenger in the auto with him is still missing.

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Rescuers are also looking for a doctor of 40 years who was trying to go to work at the hospital in Corleone and had to abandon his auto on a road due to inclement weather.

After visiting the stricken Mediterranean island by helicopter, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte said the other victims included a German couple whose vehicle was swept away by flood waters near Agrigento, a tourist town known for Greek temples.

Territories from the far northeast to Sicily in the southwest have suffered significant damage from the storms, with the worst occurring in the northern regions of Trentino and the region around Venice where villages and roads have been cut off by landslides. On Friday, two people were killed, including a woman 87 years of age and a tourist, German 62-year-old struck by lightning in Sardinia.

The severe weather has caused massive damage and disruption.

In Veneto, the forests on the slopes of the Dolomite mountains have been destroyed, after very strong winds that blew on Thursday.

"It's like after an quake", said the governor of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia.

During a visit on Sunday to badly-hit areas in the north, Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said 250 million euros ($395 million) had already been earmarked for relief.

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