Mudslides in Sicily have killed 21 people so far, Italian Civil Protection said on Saturday.
The number of dead, however, could rise to at least 50 as 30 people are still unaccounted for after mudslides hit the area two day ago, according to CNN.
Officials acknowledged "that deforestation and unregulated development -- a widespread practice in Sicily and other parts of southern Italy -- had weakened the soil and contributed to the mudslides from Messina's surrounding hills and cliffs" in Italy's deadliest mudslide since 1998. Italian newspapers said no improvements have been made to the area where landslides struck two years ago, injuring no one.
Searches continued Saturday to find the 30 some missing people, according to the Associated Press.