Extreme weather hits Italy, hailstorm in Rome
A cold front moving south from northern Europe caused extreme weather changes following a hot spell in Italy, with temperatures dropping by as much as 10˚C overnight.
A hailstorm devastated Rome on Sunday night, causing damage and chaos in the Eternal City.
Photos and video footage depicted hail and rainwater piling up knee-deep, blocking off roads and causing the formation of dangerous icy rivers.
Several train services were cancelled overnight, but recommenced on Monday morning.
The Italian capital wasn’t the only city battered by extreme weather.
The Italian Civil Protection Department issued an orange alert – the second highest – for the entire region of Campania, where schools were ordered closed.
Most of Molise and areas of Basilicata and Puglia were also on orange alert, while a less severe yellow alert was issued for Abruzzo, Calabria, Sicily and Lazio.
Severe winds in the northern city of Milan uprooted trees, while at the Bologna airport, the conditions caused several delays.
The Tuscan cities of Florence and Pisa were also affected.
Italian agriculture association Coldiretti called the sudden hail “a calamity for Italian farming”, reporting millions of euros in damage and warning that in Lazio it may have wiped out the remains of an olive harvest already weakened by unseasonably cold weather in spring. ■