‘Stay at home’: Italy issues red and amber alerts ahead of another weekend of extreme weather

Health authorities have issued safety warnings as temperatures are set to soar into the high 30s and low 40s across Italy this weekend, with storms also expected in the north.

'Stay at home': Italy issues red and amber alerts ahead of another weekend of extreme weather
Empty streets and closed shutters at midday: a common sight in Italy at this time of year. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

While temperatures have already been in the low- to mid-30s across many parts of the country in recent weeks, things are set to get much hotter over the weekend.

READ ALSO: ‘Four to five light meals a day’: Italy’s official advice during a heatwave

Temperatures in the high 30s are forecast in Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio, and Puglia in the coming days, and could reach 42C in Sardinia, writes.

Parts of northern Italy meanwhile are on alert for thunderstorms and potential flooding.

Conditions are expected to be particularly oppressive in the centre of the country, as Perugia, Umbria, is on ‘red alert’ throughout the weekend.

The health ministry has issued amber alerts for areas in and around Bologna, Rome, Florence, Frosinone and Rieti.

Campobasso, Latina and Pescara will also have amber warnings in place by Sunday.

An amber alert means high temperatures and weather conditions “may have adverse effects on the health of the population, particularly in susceptible population subgroups,” states the Health Ministry.

Moving up the scale, a red alert signals “high-risk conditions that persist for three or more consecutive days”.

READ ALSO: Six shocking statistics about the climate crisis in Italy

As coronavirus cases are also rising sharply at the moment in Italy, the health ministry advises people to “stay at home” this weekend, “both to protect yourself from the heat and to limit the risk of infection”.

Italian authorities have called on people to check on the elderly and vulnerable during spells of particularly hot weather.

Extreme weather has repeatedly battered Italy in recent years, most notably with the devastating record floods in Venice in November 2019.

Although extreme weather events have always existed and Italy is no stranger to natural disasters, experts say the climate crisis is making such events more frequent and more intense.

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