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At least 12 killed in landslides, flooding in Sicily

By Allen Cone
At least 12 killed in landslides, flooding in Sicily
A general view shows the house where the bodies of nine members of two families were recovered from flooding in Cavallaro, Sicily, on Sunday. Photo by Mike Palazzotto/EPA

Nov. 4 (UPI) -- At least 12 people, including nine members of two families, have been killed in landslides and flooding on an island of Sicily, officials said Sunday.

The family members ranged from age 1, 3, and 15 to their grandparents died in Casteldaccia in the Province of Palermo, according to a BBC report.

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State TV broadcaster RaiNews24 said water quickly reached the ceiling and the people inside drowned. Three people outside the home survived.

The families had gathered to spend the night when water from river Milicia swamped the house.

Three other people died elsewhere in Sicily when their cars were swept away.

Town mayor Giovanni Di Giacinto said it was "frightening tragedy." He said Milicia was only a small river that never had much water.

"It has never presented a threat to Casteldaccia, and it wasn't a very rainy day, anyway," he added.

Seventeen people have died outside Sicily, bringing the death toll from the storms to 29 in Italy.

Six regions remain under alert from Veneto to Sicily and Sardinia in the south.

In a Twitter post Sunday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was leaving to visit Sicily, adding he was also in constant touch with officials on the dramatic situation in the north of the country.

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Luca Zaia, the governor of Veneto, said storm damage in the region amounted to at least $1.1 billion.

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