November 23, 2011 / 10:08 AM / 6 years ago

Four dead in Italy after heavy flooding

ROME (Reuters) - Four people died after hours of torrential rain caused heavy flooding and mudslides in northeastern Sicily, authorities said on Wednesday.

Italy's Civil Protection agency said the deaths occurred after a number of buildings were submerged in mud in the town of Saponara, near Messina, late on Tuesday.

Television pictures showed the streets of the town turned into mud-filled watercourses with cars almost completely covered under the sludge.

More than 20 people have died after severe weather across Italy in recent weeks, with the heaviest impact felt in northern and central regions.

Reporting By James Mackenzie; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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