Italy braces for major heatwave

Rome, July 11 A major heatwave will hit most major Italian cities this week, with temperatures forecast to be the hottest in the summer so far, according to authorities.

On Wednesday, the Health Ministry issued an orange hot weather alert—the second highest level in the country's four-tie system—for 13 cities, including key touristic places such as Rome, Venice, and Florence.

It then issued a red alert (highest risk) for seven cities on Thursday and 11 cities on Friday, respectively, while other urban areas would remain under orange alert in the same period, Xinhua news agency reported.

Temperatures during the week are expected to reach nearly 40 degrees Celsius, and even higher in southern Sicily and the largest islands in Sardinia, according to weather forecasts, including those provided by Italy's Air Force.

The heatwave is driven by an anticyclone, a front of high barometric pressure, which is moving from Africa, pushing temperatures and humidity levels up for the next 10 days at least, weather forecast online service ilMeteo.it said.

Italy already faced a major heatwave in the second half of June, before the official start of the top summer period.

Usually, orange and red alerts cause an increased risk of wildfires across the country.

Italy has suffered from extensive wildfires with increased frequency in recent years. However, no major incidents have been recorded so far in 2024.

Source: IANS
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