Two farmers die after being surrounded by fire in Calabria as Sicily registers almost 49 degrees in a powerful heat wave
The forest fires registered since Monday in the north of Algeria have already claimed the lives of 65 people. This was notified this Wednesday by the authorities of the African country, which is fighting a hundred fires in 17 provinces under a suffocating heat of 46 degrees Celsius. Thirty of the fatalities are military personnel who worked on the tasks of extinction and the evacuation of the inhabitants of the towns affected by the accidents. Twelve other soldiers are seriously injured.
The Government expressed its concern about the active fronts, a total of 86, that the firefighters, military and civilians who collaborate in the operation are not able to control. The president, Abdelmayid Tebune, yesterday gave instructions “to adopt all the necessary measures”, since “our beloved homeland is living, once again, a painful ordeal that adds to all the tragedies of this year,” he added in relation to the coronavirus epidemic.
The Interior Minister, Kamel Belyud, also spoke out on the current catastrophe and warned that behind the fires in Tizi Uzu, the most affected area, there are “criminals full of hatred” towards Algeria. “Only criminal hands can be behind fifty fires that break out at the same time in various parts of the province,” he summarized.
The fires began on Monday, after several days of a heat wave that is leaving temperatures above 40 degrees and a deep drought. The flames have devastated dozens of towns, despite the efforts of the citizens themselves to protect their homes by watering them. Among the fatalities are civilians and soldiers who were surrounded by fire. Several soldiers also died the day before yesterday when their vehicle plunged down a ravine in a steep area ravaged by flames.
The Algerian disasters are added to those that these days are hitting Greece, Macedonia or Turkey, in a summer where flames scorch a large part of the Mediterranean basin. A new front has opened in southern Italy, undergoing major devastation and a historic heat wave.
Up to 48.8 degrees Celsius. Since there are temperature records in Europe, mercury has never risen as high as it did this Wednesday at 1:14 p.m. in Floridia, a town in the province of Syracuse, southeast of Sicily. He thus beats the previous record, held by Athens with the 48 degrees reached in 1977. The agrometeorological information service of the Sicily region reported the magnitude of the heat reached in this town that is already used to the heat in summer, because due to its orography it registers up to 10 degrees more than other municipalities in the area.
The influence of ‘Lucifer’
Since the beginning of this week, Sicily and other southern regions of Italy have been suffering the action of an anticyclone that meteorologists have baptized with the disturbing name of ‘Lucifer’. The province of Syracuse and other areas of the largest island in the Mediterranean are suffering from the action of torrid winds from the Sahara. Mercury is not expected to start falling until next week.
High temperatures are favoring the spread of forest fires in Sicily, Calabria, Sardinia and other southern regions. The fires caused two people to die this Wednesday in the province of Reggio Calabria. They were two farmers aged 76 and 79 who died due to burns and the collapse of their home due to the flames.