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Marymount - International School Rome

Italy set to declare state of emergency in regions hit by storms and fires

Five killed in storms in north and wildfires in south.

The Italian government is drawing up emergency legislation to help five regions to cope with the devastating effects of storms in the north and wildfires in the south in recent days.

The move comes after a 58-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl were killed by falling trees in the northern Lombardy region around Milan whose regional administration has estimated the storm damage at more than €100 million.

In the south, the president of Sicily has requested the government to declare a state of emergency on the island as firefighters continue to battle ferocious wildfires.

The fires have claimed the lives of three people in the Palermo area: an 88-year-old woman and a man and a woman aged 78 and 76.

In the city of Catania, in north-east Sicily, many areas have been left without electricity and running water in recent days, as temperatures soared to 47°C.

"If the world around us changes and we remain still, we will continue to mourn the dead and helplessly witness the devastation of our territory. Which by its nature is fragile and vulnerable", Italy's civil protection minister Nello Musumeci said in an interview with La Stampa newspaper on Wednesday.

On Tuesday Musumeci said that Italy was experiencing "one of the most difficult days in recent decades" due to the extreme weather.

A cabinet meeting is scheduled to take place in Rome on Wednesday during which the emergency situation will be discussed, Musumeci said.

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