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Civil protection crews cleared mud-covered roads in an Italian Alpine city Monday after a mountain mudslide sent water, soil and debris pouring into town, bursting riverbanks. After searching homes and cars overnight, authorities said all residents were accounted for.
Streets and cars in Bardonecchia, a city near Turin in the Val di Susa mountain valley, were coated in thick, gray sludge following the violent mudslides late Sunday. Witness video showed a huge wave of dirt, water and debris toppling a gate and residents running away as the muck rushed down a city street; other videos showed thick mud coursing through the river banks that pass through town.
Piedmont regional governor Alberto Cirio said there were no victims and that five people initially believed to be missing had been accounted for. In a Facebook post, Cirio said damage was significant; Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani promised support from the federal government.
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Civil protection crews began removing the debris from roads and to check the hydrological situation of the Frejus River, which was primarily involved, Cirio wrote.
Thick mud and debris cover the streets following a mountain mudslide in Bardonecchia, Italy, on Aug. 14, 2023. (LaPresse via AP)
In a social media post, firefighters said crews had rescued six people overnight from an overturned camper.
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Located at 4,265 feet, Bardonecchia is a popular destination in the Italian Alps for both winter mountain sports and summer hiking, and several rivers, streams, creeks and tributaries feed into it including the Frejus, Melezet and Rochemolles. On Sunday, the city of 3,000 was celebrating its patron feast day, St. Hipolito, with daylong activities and games and planned fireworks at night, according to the city’s tourism agency.