Ischia landslide: Body of young girl pulled from mud as rescue effort continues

The body of a young girl has been pulled from the mud after a landslide tore through a small island in southern Italy.

At least three people have been killed, the Naples prefect's office said on Sunday, and around 10 remain missing in the resort island of Ischia.

The girl was believed to be five years old and her parents are missing, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Rescuers digging through the mud had previously recovered the body of a 31-year-old woman, while her partner is among the missing.

"We are continuing the search with our hearts broken, because among the missing are also minors," said Giacomo Pascale, the mayor of a town on the island.

More than 150 people have been left homeless.

The huge landslide early on Saturday destroyed buildings and swept parked cars into the sea.

Around 100 people living close to the landslide area have been evacuated, the prefect of Naples, Claudio Palomba, said late on Saturday.

Rescuers are picking through seven metres of mud and detritus in the search for possible victims - as the light of day and lack of rain on Sunday revealed the extent of the devastation on the tourist destination in the Gulf of Naples.

Images showed thick mud, debris and stones across Casamicciola Terme, the hardest-hit community on the island. Several cars were submerged on the shoreline, apparently pushed into the sea by the storm.

In one video, a man covered with mud is seen clinging to shutter, chest-deep in muddy water.

The densely-populated island received nearly five inches of rain in six hours, the heaviest rainfall in 20 years, according to officials.

There was early confusion over the number of deaths.

Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini initially said eight people were confirmed dead, but the interior minister subsequently said no deaths were confirmed, while 10 to 12 were missing.

The body of the woman - identified locally as 31-year-old Eleonora Sirabella - was recovered on Saturday evening.