ROME, Italy (CNN) — The death toll from the mudslides on the Italian island of Sicily now stands at 21, the head of Italian Civil Protection said Saturday.
Guido Bertolaso said about 30 people were still unaccounted for in the mudslides, which occurred after a heavy downpour hit Sicily two days ago.
Messina, which sits along the strait separating Sicily from mainland Italy, was one of the worst-hit areas. Mudslides blocked roads, with some of the towns near Messina reachable only by sea or on foot.
The Italian government declared a state of emergency, and Italian fire brigades and the army launched rescue operations.