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WEATHER

Pompeii wall collapses amid heavy rain

Heavy rain in Italy caused a wall in the ancient city of Pompeii to fall down, the latest in a series of weather-related collapses at the country’s most celebrated archaeological site.

Pompeii wall collapses amid heavy rain
The ancient city of Pompeii was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79AD. Pompeii photo: Shutterstock

The wall in the Garden of Severus suffered a partial collapse after days of rainfall in southern Italy, Pompeii’s superintendency said on Wednesday.

The area was sealed off to visitors at the time and the discovery was made by staff at the ancient site.

The Garden of Severus is already part of the Great Pompeii Project, a multi-million euro fund from the EU and Italian government to protect the area.

An agreement is also being set up with the fire service to intervene in inaccessible parts of Pompeii which are at risk, the superintendency said.

The incident at the Garden of Severus is just the latest in a series of collapses at Pompeii, which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79AD.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini last March promised to unblock €2 million in restoration funds, after the Temple of Venus and Pompeii walls were damaged by rainfall.

Despite the site winning funding to the tune of €105 million, the Italian authorities have been criticized for being woefully slow in implementing restoration plans.

Unesco has also weighed into the debate, threatening in 2013 to scrap Pompeii from its prestigious World Heritage list if measures were not taken to save the ancient site.

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WEATHER

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

Temperatures are set to rise dramatically across Italy this weekend as the country prepares for its first real heatwave of the year, meteorologists said on Friday.

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

People across Italy are preparing to head to the beach this weekend with unseasonably hot weather predicted to last for several days.

The heatwave is caused by an anticyclone named  ‘Hannibal’ sweeping in from Tunisia and Algeria, bringing hot air currents across the Mediterranean and as far north as Denmark and Poland, reports news agency Ansa.

Temperatures are forecast to rise above 32-33°C in parts of the Italian north including Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, and Emilia Romagna, before the heatwave expands towards the centre and south of the country over the course of the weekend.

The weather is already 8°C above the seasonal average for this time of year, according to Antonio Sanò, founder of the Italian weather site IlMeteo.it, and temperatures could rise by as much as 10°C.

READ ALSO: From Venice to Mont Blanc, how is the climate crisis affecting Italy?

In a typical year these kinds of highs wouldn’t be seen until July, Sanò said.

The incoming heatwave will be particularly humid as the anticyclone is carrying moisture from the Mediterranean sea, according to IlMeteo.

However, the relative cool of the Mediterranean basin at this time of year will contain the heat and keep the temperatures from rising into the high 30s, as would happen if the same type of weather event occurred in August.

READ ALSO: Nine in 10 Italians ‘want more action on climate crisis’, new study finds

The heatwave will stretch over the weekend and continue into next week, peaking on Tuesday, according to weather reports.

Patchy thunderstorms typical of midsummer weather are anticipated in the Alps and the Po Valley, while the centre-south is set to experience hot and sunny conditions bar some isolated storms in the mountains of Abruzzo on Sunday.

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