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Number of cities on heat-wave red alert to rise to 22

First time this year so many cities on maximum alert

(ANSA) - ROME, JUN 30 - The health ministry has said the number of big cities on red alert over the current heat wave that Italy is enduring is set to rise from 19 on Thursday and Friday to 22 on Saturday.
    When a city is on red alert it means the ministry sees the heat as a threat to the whole population, not just groups of people considered fragile.
    The 22 cities are: Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Bolzano, Brescia, Cagliari, Campobasso, Catania, Civitavecchia, Florence, Frosinone, Latina, Messina, Naples, Palermo, Perugia, Pescara, Reggio Calabria, Rieti, Rome, Trieste and Viterbo.
    The heat wave that has pushed temperatures well above the seasonal average, with thermometers hitting peaks of 40°C.
    It is the latest in series to have already hit Italy this year even though summer has only just begun.
    The current heat wave has exacerbated the nation's drought crisis that comes after months of low rainfall and an extremely dry winter.
    Italy's civil protection department has failed to rule out water rationing during the day because of the drought, which is causing massive problems for agriculture.
    More frequent and intense heat waves are among the consequences of human-caused climate change, scientists say. (ANSA).


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