The island of Ischia was preparing to evacuate at least 1,100 people from their homes in and around Casamicciola, the town hit by a deadly landslide on Saturday, authorities in the Campania region said on Friday following a weather alert.
Rescuers on Ischia, in the Bay of Naples, are still searching for one person missing feared dead after heavy rains triggered a landslide on the island on Saturday.
The death toll from the landslide rose to 11 on Friday after three more bodies were found in the mud.
The risk of further landslides in the area is thought to be high later on Friday, as the Civil Protection Department issued an alert for Ischia and other parts of Campania warning that heavy rain is expected to hit the area from 4pm.
Up to 1,300 people could be evacuated in total with at least 600 buildings thought to be at risk in the affected area, according to Italian news agency Ansa.
Officials stressed that evacuation would not be forced, but that it was necessary for the safety of residents.
“The evacuation is a precaution,” Casamicciola councillor Simonetta Calcaterra told a press conference on Friday morning.
“There shouldn’t be violent rain, but there is a lot of mud in the area already affected by the landslide and it can become dangerous even with a little water.”
Evacuees will be housed in hotels and sports facilities in other parts of Ischia, according to reports.
Geologists warned following Saturday’s disaster that there were “high risks” of further landslides on parts of Ischia.
Experts said the landslide was caused by a fatal mix of overdevelopment, deforestation, and a lack of mitigation strategies.
On Monday, the island’s former mayor said he had tried to raise the alarm four days earlier and had asked for at-risk areas to be evacuated, but claimed his warnings were ignored.