Southern Europe Swelters as Heatwave Sparks Wildfires and Closes Tourist Sites

Children jump into the sea as smoke billows from fires around Mount Vesuvius in Naples, Italy.

A heatwave is rolling across southern Europe, fueling wildfires, exacerbating droughts in Italy and Spain and leading the Greek authorities to close some of the most popular tourist sites.

Blazes have broken out across southern Italy and Sicily, where the temperatures have climbed above 40C this week.

Wildfires near the Calampiso seaside resort west of Palermo, the Sicilian capital, forced the evacuation by boat of more than 700 tourists on Wednesday night.

About 10 people were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation but there were no reports of serious injuries. The resort will remain closed until the weekend.

“The fire didn’t enter the village and everyone was evacuated. It is safer now,” said Anna Maria Como, from the mayoral office of the nearby town of San Vito Lo Capo. By Thursday morning, the fires were under control.

About 23 wildfires raged in southern Italy on Wednesday, including on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius near Naples.

People shelter from the sun in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City.

Smoke has been billowing across Naples and nearby areas for days, raising fears that the volcano was erupting. Tourists have been advised to stay away from the area.

“The fire didn’t enter the village and everyone was evacuated. It is safer now,” said Anna Maria Como, from the mayoral office of the nearby town of San Vito Lo Capo. By Thursday morning, the fires were under control.

About 23 wildfires raged in southern Italy on Wednesday, including on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius near Naples.

Smoke has been billowing across Naples and nearby areas for days, raising fears that the volcano was erupting. Tourists have been advised to stay away from the area.

Image(s) courtesy of theguardian.com

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