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Devastating fires tear through the Mediterranean region, killing scores

This image provided by Palermo Airport's Press Office shows a fire burning in the distance. Flights were cancelled after the tarmac melted.

Italian media reported the death of a 16-year-old scout in the province of Brescia in northern Italy on Tuesday after a tree fell on her tent while at a summer camp.

Firefighters evacuated the facility and took the other attendees to a sports hall nearby for shelter.

It comes as violent hail storms, strong winds and heavy rains pound Milan and nearby provinces, flooding streets and uprooting trees, many of which fell onto parked cars.

Authorities recorded gusts of wind of up to 100 km/h in the Lombardy region.

Transport authorities also reported serious damage to Milan's electricity network and water in the historic centre was temporarily shut off.

Extensive damage was recorded in the Faenza area in the neighbouring region of Emilia-Romagna and throughout Romagna which was already devastated by last May's floods.

Hailstorms with hailstones, reportedly the size of plums, also hit parts of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Disruptions and delays were recorded on all railway lines affected by the bad weather and many tourists are leaving holiday resorts early.

Wildfires in the south

While storms batter the north, many parts of the south are going up in flames.

Firefighters on Tuesday battled wildfires in Sicily, one of which got so close to Palermo airport that it shut down for several hours on Tuesday morning.

The tarmac melted and authorities urged people not to come to the airport for “security reasons.”

At least 1,500 people had been evacuated from the Palermo area because of fires that broke out on Monday. The national fire brigade, Vigili del Fuoco (VdF), said the situation was “critical” in five areas around Palermo, where several houses had been affected by the fire, and added that 30 teams of firefighters had been deployed.

Train services were also heavily disrupted.

Sicily's civil protection agency reported temperatures of up to 47.6 degrees Celsius in Catania on Monday.

Posted on 26 Jul 2023 07:51 link