Tuesday September 21, 2021

Italy wildfires devour forests, cause evacuations

Published : 02 Aug 2021, 22:37

  DF News Desk

Photo taken on Aug. 1, 2021 shows wildfires in Pescara, Italy. Photo: Italian Firefighters/Handout via Xinhua.

Wildfires are raging in southern and central Italy amid sweltering temperatures and hot winds, the National Fire Corps and local media reported Monday, reported Xinhua.

The flames destroyed a 53-acre nature reserve near Pescara, a city in the central Abruzzo region whose Adriatic Sea coast is a popular summer resort area.

About 800 people have been evacuated from the Pescara area on Monday and 30 people suffered from smoke inhalation as flames reached the seashore, destroying some beach resorts, RAI public broadcaster reported on Monday, posting video footages of the charred remains of trees, beach furniture and infrastructure.

This follows on the evacuation of "over 100 people from homes, two convents and two beach resorts" on Sunday, according to a tweet from firefighters.

Fires were also raging on Monday in the southern Puglia region, where "243 interventions are underway to fight forest fires," the National Fire Corps tweeted, posting a video of Canadair aircraft dropping water amid towering billows of smoke.

"The teams have been at work for four days (in Puglia), where the flames have devoured 350 hectares of vegetation," the tweet added.

The southern Puglia region at the tip of Italy's boot is renowned for its beaches and architectural beauty, which attract domestic and international tourists in summer.

In the southern Molise region lying between Abruzzo and Puglia on the Adriatic Sea, "20 hectares of forest are on fire," according to another tweet of the National Fire Corps on Monday.

Firefighters have been engaged in a total of "37,407 operations to fight forest fires since June 15, of which 717 interventions were carried out in the past 24 hours to tackle the emergency across the south-central regions," the National Fire Corps said in a tweet on Monday.

In a tweet on Monday, the Interior Ministry expressed its thanks to "the women and men of the National Fire Corps who are fighting forest fires across the national territory."