Italy Ravaged by Wildfires, Record Heat in Sicily
High temperatures and dry weather assisted the spread of wildfires in Southern Europe with Italy being one of the worst hit. The wildfires advanced as far as the suburbs of the Italian capital Rome, Reuters elaborated. Local residents were evacuated from small communities around 40 km east of the ancient city. A wildfire broke out as the Italian capital faced temperatures of around 37 degrees Celsius.
Swathes of southern Italy have been plagued by wildfires in recent weeks, with flames ravaging woodland in Calabria, in the toe of the Italian boot, and on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. The temperature reached almost 49 Celsius in south-eastern Sicily, reported as the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe. The heatwave is now moving north and overnight 25 families were evacuated from their homes as fires spread through the nature reserve of Monte Catillo, near the Rome suburb of Tivoli, firefighters said in a tweet. Around 30 residents of a home for poor children and orphans were also evacuated to escape the flames.
Wildfires also broke out overnight near the town of Otranto, in Italy's southern heel, firefighters said. A nearby seaside resort was evacuated due to the choking smoke and the coastal road heading south from Otranto was closed to traffic. Prime Minister Mario Draghi promised financial help for communities hit by the fires, and a plan of action to replant forest areas and make the Italian countryside more resilient to natural disasters.
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