Two die in violent storms that hit Italy; more bad weather announced

ROME, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Two people were killed by falling trees in central Italy on Thursday as severe storms battered several regions after weeks of extremely high temperatures, services said. rescue.

Italy’s civil protection unit said bad weather would sweep across the south overnight and issued warnings for Friday for 11 of the country’s 20 regions.

A man and a woman were crushed to death by trees in separate incidents in Tuscany, while four people were injured when a tree fell at a campsite in the same area.

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The video showed a Ferris wheel spinning uncontrollably in the Tuscan resort town of Piombino, with at least one of the metal canopy seats sent flying through the air. No one was on the ride at the time and no injuries were reported.

“A wave of devastation is hitting Tuscany,” region president Eugenio Giani said in a statement announcing a state of emergency for the art-rich region.

Further north, high winds tossed large cafe umbrellas across Piazza San Marco in Venice, while fragments of masonry were blown from the adjacent bell tower.

The wind blew over 140 km/h in parts of northern Italy, damaging resorts in Liguria and Tuscany, meteorologists said.

As rain and gales hit the north, much of southern Italy remained in the grip of a heatwave, with temperatures soaring to nearly 40C (104F) in parts of Sicily.

Firefighters put out a wildfire on the small island of Pantelleria, which broke out on Wednesday and forced dozens of people, including fashion designer Giorgio Armani, to flee their homes overnight.

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Reporting by Crispian Balmer; edited by Grant McCool

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