Flash floods kill atleast 10 hikers in Italy

Photo Courtesy: Reuters

A flash flood has killed at least 10 hikers in southern Italy on Monday when they were hurled over rocks by a raging white-water creek in a deep mountain gorge, a popular aquatic trekking spot. Eighteen people were rescued and six of those were injured in the flash rush of water in the Calabria region.

There were at least 36 hikers in two organised groups inside the seven and a half mile long gorge. The number of missing trekkers are still unclear. The nationalities of the dead and injured were not immediately known, but most tourists and trekkers who visit the place are Italian.

The most seriously injured were taken by helicopter to hospital in Cosenza. “This gorge filled up with water in a really short space of time and these people were catapulted out like bullets. They ended up some three kilometres (two miles) down the valley,” said Carlo Tansi, head of the civil protection department in Calabria.

“It is really difficult terrain, filled with obstacles because of the (geological) formation of the area,” said Eugenio Facciolla, the chief prosecutor of the provincial capital, Cosenza. He said rescuers working under spotlights were trying to locate areas where some people may have survived by ending up on small patches of shore or tiny islands in the creek.

The gorge on the eastern side of the Pollino National Park boasts aquatic trekking along the stream that cuts through the massive rock, where hikers pass by water falls, water tubs and natural slipways, according to a website.

The gorge is broken down into three sections, the upper, mid and lower canyons, with hikes averaging between 2 and a half and 3 and a half hours and varying in difficult.

Source: Telegraph