WATCH: Man who lost his family in mudslides asks why no one warned him about the danger
Giuseppe and his daughter Asia are the only members of the Giordano family who survived the tragedy which hit Casteldaccia in Palermo yesterday.
Giuseppe said that the mudslides flooded the home he was renting in a matter of seconds. With a broken heart he described how the last time he saw his 15-year-old son he was trying to protect his one-year-old baby sister.
Giuseppe described how the water and mud from the Milicia river flooded his home with great force which did not give his family a chance to react. He said that the rushing waters dragged him away from his home and he miraculously survived by grabbing on to a tree where he spent more than two hours calling for help.
At the time, the family was all gathered at home for lunch.
The authorities are investigating whether the house was illegally built too close to the river. According to the mayor of Casteldaccia, Giovanni Di Giacinto, the residence had been built illegally, but in 2008, the owner had appealed against the demolition of the house. Sobbing, Giuseppe asked why none of the authorities had warned him of the danger posed to the home his family was residing in.
In all, Giuseppe lost 9 members of his family, his wife, two of his children, his parents and his siblings.
Asia escaped death because she happened to have gone out to buy some sweets with her uncle shortly before tragedy struck.