On Friday, 21 July, a large tornado tore through Milan, causing widespread damage and injuries as Italy grapples with unprecedented extreme weather conditions. The terrifying whirlwind was captured on social media, showing its devastating impact on the densely populated northern Italian city.
According to reports from the Italian weather site MeteoWeb, several people may have been injured in the wake of the tornado.
Local media in nearby Bergamo recorded wind speeds reaching a staggering 125mph, resulting in severe injuries to several individuals caused by falling debris.
In Bubbiano, a suburb in southwest Milan, high winds swept a van into a canal. Thankfully, the driver managed to escape from the vehicle.
Emergency services responded to over 100 incidents in the affected areas, as reported by MeteoWeb, and the European Storm Forecast Experiment issued a severe weather warning for the entire northern region of Italy.
The tornado came shortly after Venice experienced a hailstorm with hailstones as large as tennis balls earlier in the week, which left over 100 people injured. Meanwhile, southern Italy continues to suffer under a relentless heatwave.
The Veneto region, encompassing Venice and Verona, endured extreme weather as well, with hailstones measuring up to 10cm in diameter bombarding the streets and causing damage to buildings. In Padova, streets were left flooded, rendering cars immobile.
Tragically, a 53-year-old man lost his life in the storm when he was struck by a car driven by his wife. She accidentally ran over him while trailing behind him with the couple's car during the chaotic weather.
The situation has been exacerbated by the ongoing heatwave, with Sicily recording temperatures as high as 44°C, and Rome setting a new record-high temperature of 41.8°C on Tuesday. Public health warnings remain in effect to protect vulnerable groups, including children, the elderly, and individuals with health conditions.
Europe is experiencing dramatic weather conditions, with Greece struggling to contain a wildfire west of Athens, which has been burning for five days, forcing residents to evacuate and causing extensive damage to properties. Firefighters from various countries have joined the efforts to control the blaze amid another heatwave forecasted for the region.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has warned that extreme heatwaves are expected to persist across the Mediterranean, North America, Asia, and North Africa through the coming month of August.
The Italian authorities and neighbouring countries are closely monitoring the situation as they prepare for the potential continuation of extreme weather events. The priority remains the safety and protection of citizens amid this period of volatile and unpredictable weather patterns.