After a wall of water roared down a slender canyon in southern Italy, killing a minimum of 10 hikers and sweeping some so far as two miles downstream, rescue staff continued looking on Tuesday for survivors and extra victims.
A downpour on Monday throughout what’s often a dry time of yr despatched a flash flood down the Raganello Gorge, a preferred vacation spot for hikers within the Calabria area, overwhelming individuals with a surge that out of the blue rose as a lot as eight ft, witnesses stated. At the very least 5 individuals have been lacking on Tuesday.
“This gorge crammed in a really brief time with water, and other people have been catapulted out like bullets,” Carlo Tansi, head of the civil safety company for Calabria, informed reporters.
Helicopters made perilous dips into the gorge to lower rescue workers and extract survivors, while other rescue crews used ropes to rappel down cliffs to bring people out. The workers described devastating scenes, including a semiconscious 8-year-old girl found lying next to a corpse, The Associated Press reported.
Officials said about two dozen people were rescued.
The disaster came less than a week after the collapse of a highway bridge in the northern city of Genoa killed 43 people.
The Raganello stream rushes from the mountains of the Pollino National Park, between steep rock slopes that rise as much as 2,300 feet, over waterfalls and under the Devil’s Bridge, built of rocks, which crosses the canyon at a spectacular height.
In places, the gorge narrows to as little as 13 feet, Mr. Tansi said, funneling the flow deeper and faster downhill. Giacomo Zanfei of the regional alpine rescue team likened the flood to a tsunami.
The creek reaches the coast in the toe of the Italian peninsula, about 20 miles east of the canyon.
Guides are required in certain sections of the gorge, but the authorities said the number of missing could be higher in areas that are freely accessible to hikers. The names and pictures of the missing were circulated on social media on Tuesday.
“The wave of flooding of the Raganello stream occurs typically within the winter,” Luca Franzese, of the alpine rescue squad in Calabria, informed the information company ANSA. “Nevertheless it has by no means occurred in the summertime, when the stream could be very well-liked amongst vacationers.”