Martedì, 18 Settembre 2018
ROME

Heat wave, torrential rain make for dangerous mix in Italy

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, August 6 - The mercury is on the rise in
thermometers across central and southern Italy as intensely hot,
humid weather led authorities to issue warnings Monday.
Temperatures soaring above 42 degrees Celsius in southern
regions pose a serious threat to the health of elderly people,
the authorities said, and the nation's agriculture is also
suffering.
Indeed, Agriculture Minister Mario Catania warned Monday
that he may declare a state of emergency in some areas because
of drought.
All this comes as a scorching weather system dubbed Nero is
forecast to sweep up from the Sahara Monday and Tuesday, says
forecaster Antonio Sano, director of the ilmeteo.it website.
Meanwhile, humid air from the Atlantic is triggering hail
and heavy rainstorms in the north, where two elderly women were
killed at the weekend in mudslides caused by torrential
downpours.
Flash flood warnings were issued Monday afternoon in
Piedmont, Lombardy, and the Trentino Alto Adige areas while
"Nero" bakes the centre and south.
Sano said Tuesday could be the hottest day of the summer,
with record heat leading to temperature spikes of 42 degrees
Celsius in Puglia, Matera, Basilicata, and Calabria, and
possibly 43 degrees in Sicily's Agrigento.
Sardinia could see the thermometer hit 40 degrees, while on
Monday, visitors to Rome and Florence will roast in 37 degrees
weather, rising above 38 degrees C on Tuesday, forecasters say.
By Thursday, cooler temperatures could roll in, bringing
back more normal temperatures and by the weekend, the country
should return to plenty of sunshine, less humidity, and
temperatures averaging 30 degrees C to 33 degrees C.
But for now, the intense heat and drought is destroying
crops and authorities are considering how and where to respond.
"There are areas of the country where they will most likely
be declared a state of natural emergency," Catania said Monday.
Parts of the Veneto have been hit hard and wide areas of
the central and southern Italy is also suffering, he said.
The weekend illness of former premier Giulio Andreotti was
cited as an example of how the weather can hurt the elderly.
Andreotti, 93, was admitted to hospital Saturday night for
a cardiac arrhythmia.
The current weather is especially dangerous for people with
cardio-vascular and lung problems, they warned.
It's not known if the hot, humid weather was a factor in
Andreotti's illness.

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