Experts are scrambling to devise a new evacuation plan for towns in southern Italy stricken by mudslides after studies show a road designated as an escape route would be blocked by new slides in case torrential rains return.
Rivers of mud rushed down Mount Sarno last week, killing at least 139 people and burying much of this town and several hamlets nearby. Forecasts say more rain is expected as early as soon as Thursday.Officials were trying to have pamphlets with evacuation instructions ready for distribution door-to-door Wednesday.
Some 3,000 firefighters, soldiers and other rescue workers used bulldozers and shovels to clear escape paths down streets clogged with hardened mud up to 10 feet high.
"Every day we discover a new front, a new, tiny fracture" on Mount Sarno to analyze, said Lorenzo Alessandrini, one of the experts working on the evacuation plan.
"We still need a little more time," Alessandrini said Tuesday evening.
Experts examined photos taken from helicopters and readings of sensors studding the mountain, which is about 20 miles inland from Naples.
New data convinced them that any new mudslides would come racing down "exactly where the road which had been thought of for the evacuation route passes," Alessandrini was quoted by the Italianews agency ANSA as saying.
Many citizens here complained they were not given adequate warning when two days of torrential rain triggered mudslides May 5.