- 12 cities are under red alert warnings today with five more added for Wednesday
- Red alert means even the young, fit and healthy should to stay out of the sun
- Italy’s third heatwave in just two months as Greece and Tenerife battle wildfires
Italian authorities have triggered yet another red alert for 17 cities with the third punishing heatwave in just two months set to blast the country from Wednesday.
A dozen cities – Bologna, Bolzano, Brescia, Florence, Frosinone, Latina, Palermo, Perugia, Rieti, Rome, Turin and Verona – were already slapped with a red alert from today.
Genoa, Milan, Naples, Trieste and Venice will be bumped into the red on Wednesday, meaning that residents are considered to be at maximum heat risk.
Temperatures in several of Italy‘s biggest cities including Rome and Florence are already sitting at 38 degrees C today, with the mercury set to tip 40 degrees on Thursday.
A red alert means even the young, fit and healthy are warned to stay out of the sun from 10am to 6pm, such is the heat of the baking summer sun.
Storm warnings are also in effect in the southern regions of Calabria, Basilicata and Sicily.
Last month, several cities were forced to contend with widespread powercuts as temperatures reached a whopping 48 degrees C in southern Italy.
Some half-a-million people were affected in and around the city of Catania, thanks to heat damage to underground cables.
The cuts meant that between 200,000 and 300,000 people were not only without power, but also a supply of running water.
Separately, flights were grounded following a fire at the city’s main airport on July 16 that required terminal-wide repairs.
The soaring temperatures in Italy come as Greece and one of Spain’s Canary Islands battle savage wildfires.
Hot, dry and windy conditions are hampering the efforts of hundreds of firefighters battling the blazes, two of which have been burning for several days.
European Union officials have blamed climate change for the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires in Europe, noting that 2022 was the second-worst year for wildfire damage on record after 2017.
In Greece, authorities ordered the evacuation of two villages in the central Viotia region, about 60 miles northwest of Athens, after a forest fire broke out Monday morning. The coast guard put two patrol boats and several fishing boats and private vessels on standby in case an evacuation by sea was necessary.
Authorities said the body of a man was recovered from a sheep pen in the area under evacuation, with local media reporting the man apparently died of smoke inhalation while trying to save his livestock.
In the northeast of the country near the border with Turkey, strong winds rekindled flames on several fronts in a major wildfire burning for a third day across forests and farmland near the town of Alexandroupolis.
Several homes were destroyed over the weekend. Thirteen villages were evacuated, while more than 200 firefighters, assisted by 17 water-dropping aircraft, volunteers and the armed forces were battling the fire, Deputy Fire Chief Ioannis Artopios said.
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