State of emergency over Italy bad weather

The Italian government has declared a state of emergency over bad weather which hit the country last month, freeing up €14 million to rebuild damaged areas.

State of emergency over Italy bad weather
Heavy snow hit the Emilia-Romagna region and elsewhere in Italy last month. Bologna photo: Shutterstock

Lawmakers on Thursday approved the measure for the central Emilia-Romagna region, where the government said wintry weather hit with “exceptional intensity” between February 4th and 7th.

Around €14 million of funding will now be made available for the region, which will be used in hard-hit areas such as the coast.

Councillor Paola Gazzolo welcomed the news as an “important result, achieved in rapid time in spite of the long procedure expected by the law.”

A regional commissioner will now be appointed to draw up plans on how to spend the emergency funds.

Emilia-Romagna was one of the worst-hit regions in February, with one seaside town completely cut off and 19 people evacuated from floods.

Heavy snow also hit the region and elsewhere in Italy, causing electricity outages and prompting schools to shut close to the French border. 

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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, and temperatures could rise by as much as 10°C.

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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.