Italy is hit by heatwaves this week, with fires raging in the south, mainly in Sicily and Calabria, where a major global geopark is under threat.
The governor of Sicily has called for the state of Madonna to be declared a state of emergency. Mercury is expected to reach 49 to 50 degrees Celsius in southeastern Sicily and 39 to 40 degrees in Calabria, Puglia, and Campania.
Italy’s national meteorological service expects the record for the highest temperature in the country to be broken today: 48.5 degrees Celsius in 1990 in Sicily.
In Calabria, flames threaten Aspromonte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The president of the non-governmental organization WWF Italy demanded, “the immediate intervention of additional air means”. “Otherwise it will be too late and we will lose a legacy of incalculable value,” he complained.