Twenty-four people lost their lives and another 35 are missing in the province of Messina after a violent rain storm hit the Italian island of Sicily. On October 1 and 2, heavy rains dumped over 2.3m of water on the Sicilian city in less than an hour, causing massive flooding and mudslides that destroyed homes both in the city and in smaller towns throughout the Messina province. Hundreds were left stranded in inaccessible areas. Days later, the government declared a state of emergency as relief efforts continued the search for the missing. Officials have blamed illegal building in the marshy area as the cause of the disaster.