Palermo airport shut on Monday night due to fires.
The Milan area of northern Italy was hit by a violent thunderstorm in the early hours of Tuesday, with strong winds uprooting trees, ripping roofs off houses and causing widespread damage.
Firefighters say they are responding to hundreds of call-outs on Tuesday to remove fallen trees from roads and on top of cars, as well as dealing with emergency situations linked to structural damage and flooding.
The storm has led to electricity blackouts and left fallen debris in the paths of buses and trains, affecting the ATM public transport network in Milan and rail services in the surrounding Lombardia region.
Stanotte il cielo di #Milano ricorda Hawkins in Stranger Things durante le battaglie. Assurdo pic.twitter.com/oyA4HFSeJQ— Pietro Raffa (@pietroraffa) July 25, 2023
Milan residents posted videos on social media of the “apocalyptic” weather, many of them accompanied by comments such as “Never seen anything like this in my life”.
A level-two ‘orange’ weather alert remains in force in Milan on Tuesday, with more storms and heavy rain expected in the region.
The extreme weather, which included tennis ball-sized hailstones, followed another devastating storm in the Milan area on Monday, with a 58-year-old woman killed by a falling tree in Brianza.
Meanwhile the south of the country is still enduring a heatwave with temperatures peaking at 48°C in Puglia, Sardinia and Sicily in recent days.
#Roma, in bonifica l’#incendio vegetazione a Castel Romano: 5 squadre di #vigilidelfuoco, supportate da 3 elicotteri della Regione, hanno evitato il coinvolgimento di un maneggio e di un distributore di carburante. In corso lo spegnimento degli ultimi focolai [#24luglio 19:00] https://t.co/vTmV1cg8sd pic.twitter.com/s1O26wzIze— Vigili del Fuoco (@vigilidelfuoco) July 24, 2023
On Monday dozens of wildfires broke out in the southern regions of Calabria and Campania, as well as in Sardinia and Sicily, while Rome firefighters battled a blaze on the Via Pontina at Castel Romano, south of the capital.
Palermo airport closed on Monday night due to a nearby blaze and will remain closed until 11.00 on Tuesday, leading to flight delays and cancellations.
#emergenza #incendi, #aeroporto di #Palermo chiuso fino alle 11. Cancellati i seguenti voli: FR4932 PMO-BVA, FR8972 PMO-BDS, FR3947 PMO-FCO, FR1044 PMO-CUF, FR4914 PMO-VRN— Aeroporto di Palermo (@AeroportoPa) July 25, 2023
Sicily’s main airport, in Catania, remains largely out of action following a major fire a week ago, while some areas of the city have been left without water and electricity for several days.
Italy’s civil protection minister Nello Musumeci has pledged major investment to upgrade Catania’s “inadequate” electricity grid while transport minister Matteo Salvini has convened a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation at the airport.
The Italian health ministry has a red alert heatwave warning in place on Tuesday for 16 major cities: Bari, Cagliari, Campobasso, Catania, Civitavecchia, Florence, Frosinone, Latina, Massina, Naples, Palermo, Perugia, Pescara, Reggio Calabria, Rieti and Rome.