Sat, 18 Sep 2021

Evacuations ordered as wildfires rage through Sicily

Robert Besser
05 Aug 2021, 03:13 GMT+10

Catania, Sicily: Italian firefighters are battling wildfires in Sicily for a second consecutive day.

The fires reached the town of Catania and forced residents to leave their homes and the local airport to temporarily close.

On Twitter, the firefighters said they conducted 250 operations in Sicily over the past 24 hours, with 50 being in Catania, which is known for its baroque architecture and located along the island's eastern coast on the slopes of Mount Etna.

The fires affected the area of Catania facing the sea, destroying the beach resort, La Capannina, where photos showed the charred remains of beach chairs and umbrellas.

According to local media, hot winds spread the flames across the island, while fires also affected the province of Palermo, causing ash to fall on the Sicilian capital, with temperatures approaching 104F.

Earlier this week, fires swept through various parts of southern Europe, including Spain, Turkey's southern region and Sardinia.

To counter the fires in Sardinia, Italy requested assistance from the European Union which, on Monday, sent four forest firefighting planes, after more than 350 people were evacuated.
The Italian arm of the World Wildlife Fund said the fires burned some 49,420 acres of land in Sardinia, killing animals and destroying century-old woodlands.

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