The Belice is a river, 77 km in length, of western Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. From its main source near Piana degli Albanesi
Piana degli Albanesi
Piana degli Albanesi is a comune with 6,427 inhabitants in the Province of Palermo, Sicily.The town is the most important and populous Arbëreshë community in Sicily and it is the episcopal see of the Byzantine Catholic Church...

 it runs south and west for 45.5 km as the Belice Destra (Right Belice) until it is joined on the left by its secondary branch, the 42 km Belice Sinistro (Left Belice), which rises on the slopes of Rocca Busambra. The Belice proper then flows for another 30 km or so before entering the Strait of Sicily
Strait of Sicily
The Strait of Sicily is the strait between Sicily and Tunisia. It is about wide and divides the Tyrrhenian Sea and the western Mediterranean Sea from the eastern Mediterranean. Its maximum depth is ....

 to the east of the ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 site of Selinus. During Classical times it was known as the Hypsas.


The middle section of the Belice valley was hit by a severe earthquake in January 1968 which completely destroyed numerous centres of population, including Gibellina
Gibellina is a small city and comune in the mountains of central Sicily, Italy in the Province of Trapani. It was destroyed by the 1968 earthquake....

, Montevago
Montevago is a comune in the Province of Agrigento in the Italian region Sicily, located about 60 km southwest of Palermo and about 70 km northwest of Agrigento....

 and Salaparuta
Salaparuta is a town and comune in South-Western Sicily, Italy, in the valley of the Belice river, administratively part of the province of Trapani. It had 1,781 inhabitants as of 2007....

. 370 people died, a thousand were injured and some 70,000 people were made homeless.
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