The Italian Almanac

Po river

Italian News - June 27

Italy is suffering a heat wave, with many cities warning frail and elderly people to stay in the shade and farmers saying low river levels were putting their crops at risk. The north of the country is worst hit. The city of Turin has predicted temperatures to rise to 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) today and the local government estimated the number of heat-related casualties could be double the normal level.

Farmers' federation Coldiretti said water levels in rivers, lakes and reservoirs in the north were so low that they would only be able to supply irrigation for the next two weeks. "The river Po is at historic lows and current levels won't supply water for irrigation for much longer," it said in a statement. The sudden heat wave comes after a sustained period of low rainfall in the region.

At least five elderly people have died so far from the heat. The last time Italy faced a sustained heat wave was in 2003 when at least 8,000 people died.