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Red heat alert for Rome this week as heatwave continues

26 giugno 2017 | 14.56
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Italian authorities are issuing a red heat alert for the capital, Rome, on Wednesday amid a scorching heatwave that has seen temperatures hit 40C in cities across the country this month.

The red heat risk level (3) means "high-risk emergency conditions that will persist for three of more days in a row" according to the government.

The cities of Ancona, Cagliari, Campobasso, Frosinone, Latina, Perugia and Pescara are on red heat alert on Monday and Tuesday while Rieti will join the list on Wednesday, as well as Rome.

The heatwave comes after weeks of sweltering temperatures and months of no rain that have caused drought in several areas and almost a billion euros of damage to agriculture.

In Rome a technical committee was due to give its opinion on whether to turn off the drinking water fountains in the capital due to the water shortage.

At Lake Bracciano, near Rome, the water level has fallen sharply due to the drought and because it has been supplying more water than usual to a local utility to meet demand, prompting Rome city council to order curbs on the use of water for gardens, filling swimming pools and cleaning cars.

"The order is above all aimed conserving water levels in Lake Bracciano which have fallen markedly in recent years owing to a lack of policies to protect its water resources and due to little rainfall," Rome city council said on its website.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi's order will remain in place until September and is in line with measures introduced in other municipal areas of the Lazio region.

On Friday, the Italian government issued a weekend red heat alert for 10 cities - Bologna, Bolzano, Brescia, Perugia, Torino, Ancona, Campobasso, Florence, Perugia and Pescara.

Italian government declared a state of emergency last week in the northern provinces of Parma and Piacenza due to drought.

The drought-hit central Tuscany and Sardinia regions have asked the government to call a state of emergency.

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