Italy's civil protection chief said at least 13 people were killed and dozens injured by mudslides unleashed by heavy rains on parts of the Sicilian city of Messina.
Guido Bertolaso told a news conference on Friday at least 40 people were hospitalized after rivers of mud swept away cars and caused several buildings to collapse overnight.
Several more people are believed to be missing but authorities have given varying figures, ranging from five to 20.
The mud unleashed by heavy rains descended from the hills and cliffs that ring the city. Roads and railways were cut and many of the stricken areas are still reachable only on foot.