Mudslide kills man as rain and flooding engulf northern Italy

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 12, 2014 10:10 AM

ROME (Reuters) - A landslide killed one man and seriously injured another in Italy on Wednesday, a local emergency service said, as floods continued to engulf northern parts of the country and heavy rain persists.

A fire department official in the northwestern province of Biella, in the Piedmont region, said the fire service was too busy for him to give any further details.

Local media said the man was about 70 years old and was killed near his home.

Torrential rain has also hit Tuscany, Liguria, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna this week, causing flooding which closed schools, washed away orchards and vineyards and revived accusations about the disastrous effects of environmental neglect.

An elderly couple was buried under a mudslide which crushed their house in Liguria and a woman died of a heart attack after being trapped in her Tuscany home by flooding on Tuesday.

Italy's unstable, mountainous landscape has been made more vulnerable to flooding and landslides by rampant unauthorized building work, abandonment of farmland and poorly planned infrastructure.

Environment minister Gian Luca Galletti vowed on Tuesday to put an end to repeated amnesties which have encouraged illegal housebuilding for decades.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Louise Ireland)