Italy hit by 2 extreme weather events

Italy hit by 2 extreme weather events

Extreme weather conditions killed 2, wounded several others

By Giada Zampano

ROME (AA) - Italy was split in two on Tuesday between record heat in the southern and central regions and violent storms in the North as extreme weather events killed at least two people and wounded several, local media reported.

Sixteen cities were put on red alert because of extraordinarily high temperatures, as the exceptional heat wave in the country continued, followed by intense phenomena like thunderstorms and tornadoes.

A wildfire forced Sicily’s capital Palermo to shut down its airport for several hours, before reopening on Tuesday morning, as firefighters tried to put flames under control in a nearby area, where road and rail traffic was also disrupted.

A woman died after an ambulance could not reach her home due to the blaze, local authorities reported.

The latest incident added to recent problems in Sicily’s main Catania airport, causing wide delays and cancellations at the peak of an already packed tourist season.

The airport in Catania was closed last week due to a fire in a terminal building and has just recently reopened for a few flights.

In addition, Palermo and Catania both suffered power and water supply cuts, which local officials blamed partially on the exceptional heat.

In some parts of eastern Sicily, temperatures rose to 47.6C (117.7F) on Monday, close to a European high of 48.8C (119.8F) recorded by the island two years ago.

In the North, an overnight storm with torrential rains hit Italy's financial capital Milan, tearing off roofs, uprooting hundreds of trees, and blocking roads. Transport authorities reported serious damage to the city’s electricity network.

On Tuesday, a 16-year-old girl at a scout camp was killed near the northern city of Brescia when a tree fell on her tent, according to Italian news agencies.

Italy is one of the European countries most affected by climate change-related extreme weather and suffered deadly floods in the northern Emilia Romagna region in May.


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