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Italy's floods death toll finally rises to 35

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ROME, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Italy's civil protection chief Guido Bertolaso said on Tuesday that final death toll from floods in northeastern Sicilian town of Messina finally reached 35 since there was no hope of finding survivors from 10 people still missing.

"We know the full names of the people who are missing and are at work to find their bodies," Bertolaso said during an address to the Italian Senate, where he was asked to give an assessment of the tragedy.

Some 730 evacuees had been moved into hotels while over 2,300 workers were involved in 24-hour relief efforts, Bertolaso told parliamentarians.

The civil protection chief said he had no information regarding reports of unregistered immigrants also said to be missing after the floods.

During his address, Bertolaso said illegal building and weak infrastructure were among the main culprits for the loss of life.

"Construction was carried out without any regard to rules or common sense," Bertolaso said. "Illegal building can be pardoned, but there is no pardon that can convince a flood to change its course."

Bertolaso also said the "blatant intolerance in Italy towards anyone who remembers that maintenance in this country has never been a priority."

The civil protection chief called on the government to launch a nationwide campaign implementing safety measures to protect Italians against natural disasters in the future.

Drying mud in areas buried beneath landslides last week hampered efforts on Tuesday to find the bodies of the missing.

Rescuers hope to find the remains by the weekend after Messina mayor Giuseppe Buzzanca announced a public funeral service for the victims at the city's cathedral.

Editor: Yan