Bodies retrieved from flooded Sicily house as fierce storms wreak havoc in Italy

Italian authorities said Sunday the bodies of the family, including those of three children aged one, three and 15, were found in their house in Casteldaccia next to a small river which had burst its banks. Three other members of the same family managed to escape, according to local rescue officials.

Giovanni Di Giacinto, mayor of Casteldaccia, said the discovery of the bodies was an "immense tragedy," Italian news agency ANSA reported.

In a separate incident, a man was found dead in his car. At least two other people around the Sicilian capital Palermo are reportedly missing.

Read more: Italy's flooding crisis eases, leaving trail of death and destruction

A 'complex meteorological situation'

Heavy flooding in Sicily has wreaked havoc in many parts of the island, closing a number of roads and forcing officials to shut schools, public parks and underpasses.

Northern Italy, including Venice, has been hit hard by a series of storms that have claimed at least 20 lives and caused massive damage in the affected areas.

On Friday, a 62-year-old German woman was hit by a bolt of lightning while walking with her husband and son on San Pietro, a smaller island near Sardinia.

Italian authorities have described the weather conditions as "one of the most complex meteorological situations of the past 50 to 60 years."

shs/jlw (dpa, AFP)