8 confirmed dead after landslide in Italy´s Ischia island

Photo by Giovanni Di Meglio/Unsplash.com

Environmental experts and geologists say disaster caused due to combination of illegal constructions and climate change 

After multiple rescue operations in the Italian island of Ischia, authorities on Monday, November 28, announced that over eight people have died in the disaster. According to a report by the Associated Press, the landslide that hit the island on Saturday, also resulted in the death of a three-week-old infant.

Excessive rain during the night on the mountain island, resulted in a part of Mount Epomeo sliding down. The report said, as the landslide gained speed, it demolished buildings after it hit the town of Casamicciola. Official reports state over 30 houses have been inundated and over 200 people are presently homeless. Several cars and buses were also carried into the sea.

Geologists and environmentalists are now blaming the extent of the disaster on climate change and illegal construction on the island. “In Ischia there was an extreme event, very strong rain, the result of climate change, on an island that has become a symbol of illegal construction,” said Stefano Ciafani, the president of the environmental group Legambiente, in the report.

The island is of volcanic origin and is susceptible to both landslides and earthquakes. Despite these issues, the report said, illegal buildings have been built in a way that interferes with the natural water runoffs

Meanwhile, The World Wildlife Foundation in a statement has blamed the government for allowing illegal constructions. “It does not take a technician to understand that (illegal) construction … cannot be tolerated because it multiplies the risk well beyond the people who live there, ″ WWF said in a statement in the report.

The organization has called for a law to be passed to stop any new construction in the area.

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