At least two people have died and hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes due to the forest fires that have devastated the Italian Mediterranean island of Sicily in recent hours.
According to the Police, a man has died while evacuating his house in Trappeto, near Palermo, the island’s capital. In Cefalù, a 42-year-old woman died while she was trying to free horses from a burning stable.
More than 700 tourists were evacuated from a hotel in Cefalú, but were able to return to their rooms overnight.
The recent weather on the Italian island, with temperatures of more than 35 degrees Celsius and a spell of drought, led to favorable conditions for the fires, which were also fanned by hot winds from Africa.
The northern part of Sicily was especially affected. In Palermo they had to evacuate a building on a university campus and several schools and a section of the island’s highway were closed.
Firefighters and security forces continue working to extinguish the fires, which are not yet under control.