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Italy: Frantic search for missing after mudslides in Sicily

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Messina_(dpa) _ Rescue workers were digging to find survivors at the Sicilian port city of Messina Saturday, after heavy rains caused floods which washed away roads and homes.

Early Saturday the fire brigade recovered the body of one woman, bringing the death toll so far to 19.

Heavy rainfall was still hindering the rescue efforts, as teams tried to dig through the mud. Heavy storms overnight Friday had triggered further landslides, injuring up to 80 people.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi warned on Friday that there were still 30 people unaccounted for, and warned that the death toll could rise to 50.

President Giorgio Napolitano meanwhile called for more investment in the country's security and infrastructure.

Messina, which is on the northern coast of the island, across from mainland Italy, is planned to be the site of a new multi billion-dollar bridge connecting Sicily with the mainland.

On Friday, the government in Rome declared a state of emergency in the region. dpa ka mt bve

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