Distressing footage has captured the moment a raging river burst through a town in Italy, coating the streets in mud.

The dramatic video shared online showed the churning, mud-filled river forming a huge wave as it burst its banks and rolled into a street in the tourist town of Bardonecchia, near Turin in the Val di Susa valley.

It is believed the mudslide was caused by a landslide and heavy rainfall in the nearby mountains.

The town of 3000 residents was bustling on Sunday as it celebrated its patron feast day, St Hipolito, with activities and games taking place and fireworks planned at night, according to the local tourism agency.

Bardonecchia, located at 1300 metres, is a popular destination for both winter mountain sports and summer hiking, and is intersected by several streams, creeks and tributaries.

The festivities took a turn for the worse as residents and tourists were seen fleeing from the “mud tsunami” as it smashed through a gate and sent debris flying.

Separate videos showed a wall of mud breaching the riverbanks that pass through the mountain town, blanketing cars and roads with thick, grey sludge.

Rescuers desperately searched for five people who were believed to be missing following the mudslide but authorities later confirmed all residents were accounted for and there had been no deaths.

Firefighters said crews had rescued six people from an overturned camper after it was swept away by the mudslide.

Some 120 tourists and residents were evacuated from their hotels and homes as a result of the damage, the local ANSA news agency reported. They evacuees are being accommodated in a camp set up by the Italian Red Cross in a local sports facility, the agency said.

Piedmont regional governor Alberto Cirio said the damage was considerable, estimated at a cost of about A$17 million, as he urged the national government to help.

The local police station and the hotel La Betulla were damaged in the wave, and an entire fleet of police cars was destroyed, according to local reports.

Italy’s deputy prime minister, Antonio Tajani, said the government would provide support for the clean up.

Civil protection crews arrived to remove debris from roads and assess the situation at the Frejus River, which was the primary river involved, Mr Cirio said.


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By Rahul

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