Thunderstorms cause flooding in northern Italy

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29 March 2021, Indonesia, Indramayu: Smokes cover the sky after a fire in an oil refinery in Indonesia's West Java province. The fire broke out just after midnight during a thunderstorm, injuring 20 people and prompting the evacuation of nearly 1,000 residents. Photo: Donal Husni/ZUMA Wire/dpa
Photo: Donal Husni/ZUMA Wire/dpa

The north of Italy has again been hit by severe storms – while forest and bush fires continue to blaze in southern Italy.

In South Tyrol, trees toppled and streams turned into raging floods, according to Twitter messages from the fire brigade on Tuesday.

The civil defence was still urging people in the municipalities of Ahrntal and Pflersch to stay indoors and avoid flowing water on Monday evening.

Hail fell and strong winds blew over the area north of Sterzing on the border with Austria.

The South Tyrolean weather service recorded very heavy rainfall there of around 86 litres per square metre within 24 hours.

The storms also moved across the regions of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna.

According to their own information, the fire brigades were called out around 570 times due to the weather.

In the area around the town of Sonico, almost 100 kilometres north of Brescia, the river Oglio flooded roads and blocked cars.

According to reports, no people were injured in the storms in northern Italy.

Meanwhile, in southern Italy, firefighting efforts continue in the battle against forest and bush fires.

In Sicily in particular, the highest forest fire warning level was in effect on Tuesday, with the exception of one province in the north-east.
In the south, drought, heat and strong winds continue to feed the flames.

Firefighting planes are also in action in many places on the large islands, in Calabria on the southern tip of the mainland or, for example, in Lazio, where Rome is located.

According to information from Monday evening, the civil protection authority has received more than 1,000 requests for aerial firefighting support since mid-June.

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