Palermo Airport (PMO), a popular tourist destination in Sicily, has reopened after wildfires forced its closure in the early morning of 25 July.
The blaze started in the hills above the town of Cinisi and reached the edge of the Falcone Borsellino airport.
The airport was closed and a portion of the motorway was briefly blocked by local officials after more than 55 wildfires were reported on the island.
The airport operator announced the closure on Twitter, with further announcements of flight cancellations and train delays due to the incident. Reopening its doors at 11am CET, the Aeroporto di Palermo later announced only a “limited number of flights will be allowed” with weather conditions being monitored closely.
Meanwhile, in northern Italy, regions are experiencing violent storms and high winds that uprooted trees and took roofs off buildings.
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Overnight the regions of Lombardy and Veneto experienced torrential rainfall and extremely strong winds, which reached 100km/h in Milan the BBC reported.
Daniela Santanche, Italian Minister of Tourism, offered her condolences for both events on her official Twitter account.
Santanche said: “On such a tragic day for our nation torn apart by bad weather, my thoughts go to the victims of these events and my closeness to those who have suffered damage. Thanks to the Police Forces, the Civil Protection and the fire brigade for their extraordinary commitment.”
As reported by Ansa, the wildfires follow record high temperatures being recorded in Catania, ‘the hottest city in Sicily’ with a peak of 46.7 degrees.
The wildfire was not an isolated incident. Fires have caught across Europe and North Africa, with recent temperatures reaching 46.6C in the south of Greece, forcing the “biggest evacuation in the country’s history” as per the The Independent.
As a July heatwave burned huge regions of the Mediterranean, wildfires killed 34 people in Algeria.