January 29, 2022

The Tampa Herald

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Fires devour southern Italy

2 min read

The fires continue to devour hectares of forests in Sicily, Sardinia and especially in Calabria, in southern Italy, where they have already caused five fatalities and keep several evacuated municipalities and Unesco heritage areas under threat.

Among the last three victims, who joined the two farmers who died a few days ago in Calabria, is a 77-year-old man who died in his country house because of a fire in Grotteria, in the province of Reggio Calabria, while He was trying to save his animals.

Also in Calabria, a 79-year-old man was found dead near his house in Cardeto after a fire, while the third victim was another farmer crushed by a tractor while fighting the flames that stalked his house in Paternò, in Sicily.

With temperatures that have exceeded 45 degrees and the strong sirocco wind, several fires are still active in Sicily, where four fronts have already reached or are reaching the inhabited centers and some 800 people have had to be evacuated in the towns of Petralia, Soprana and Polizzi Generosa, in the Madonie area, Linguaglossa on Etna, and Pergusa in the Enna area.

This situation led the President of Sicily, Nello Musumeci, to ask the Government for a state of emergency so that more aid is sent, in addition to the nearly 5,000 people who are working to put out the fires.

“We put out a fire and a second later another opens in front of it a few kilometers away,” lamented Salvo Cocina, head of regional civil protection.

The undersecretary of the Interior, Carlo Sibilia, announced the immediate dispatch of reinforcements to Calabria, one of the areas most affected by the flames, where 130 firefighters from Lazio, Lombardy, Tuscany, Marche, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna will arrive in the next few hours. as well as members of the Army.

“We are losing our history, our identity is being reduced to ashes, our authentic soul burns in the general silence”, wrote on Facebook the mayor of Reggio Calabria, Giuseppe Falcomatà, who warned that the forests of the area are still in danger and the flames “are causing incalculable damage” –

The situation is critical in the municipalities of Roccaforte del Greco, Roghudi, Bagaladi and Cardeto, where the inhabitants of some houses have had to be housed and the flames are approaching the “Infernal Valley” area in the town of San Luca, in which it is located in a beech forest considered a Unesco heritage site.

Hundreds of people work there to create a firebreak that prevents flames from reaching that national park.


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