Ten people, including a family of nine, died in floods around Palermo on the southern Italian island of Sicily, rescue workers said on Sunday.

They said the family's bodies, including children aged 1, 3 and 15, had been found in their house in Casteldaccia, on a small river that had blown up its banks.

According to the news agency Agi, three other members of the same family escaped.

Separately, one man was found dead in his car while two others are missing.

At the beginning of this week in Sicily, many roads were closed by floods, and mayors closed schools, public parks and underpasses.

Italy, especially in the north and around Venice, was hit by a series of violent storms that claimed at least 20 lives and caused massive damage and disruption.

Trees that covered the mountains of the Dolomites were reduced to matches that were flattened by the winds that swept through the Veneto region on Thursday.

"It's like an earthquake," said Venetian Governor Luca Zaia. "Thousands of acres of forest have been knocked down like a giant electric saw."

The Italian civil protection authority described the weather this week as "one of the most complex meteorological situations of the last 50 to 60 years".

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