Italy issues ‘excessive heat’ warning ahead of extreme 42C blast while Balearic Islands are hit with freak ‘meteo-tsunami’ and deadly wildfires rip through Turkish villages as southern Europe bakes in heatwave

Extreme weather continues to ravage parts of southern Europe, with an ‘excessive heat warning in place in Italy, freak ‘meteo-tsunami’ waves hitting the Balearic Islands and deadly wildfires ripping through Turkish villages.

The mercury is expected to rise to as high as 42C in the southern Italian city of Foggia today, while hotels in Sicily have reportedly turned tourists away amid a drought on the island.

Over in Spain, dramatic video has shown the moment a huge wave surged over the road in the Balearic resort town of Puerto Alcudia, an area popular with tourists. 

A similar video has emerged today of a freak wave washing away sunbeds in Menorca earlier this week.

Meanwhile in southeastern Turkey, five people have lost their lives and dozens have been injured as a huge wildfire swept through several villages overnight, the country’s health minister said Friday.

Images posted on social media showed flames raging over a large area, consuming whole swathes of woodland and lighting up the night sky as vast clouds of smoke billowed into the air.

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire burning near Kumkoy, in Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey

Rome was hit with a heatwave this week, with tourists pictured queueing for water outside the Colosseum

Rome was hit with a heatwave this week, with tourists pictured queueing for water outside the Colosseum

Water surges over the sea wall and into a town in Majorca due to a 'meteo-tsunami'

Water surges over the sea wall and into a town in Majorca due to a ‘meteo-tsunami’

The Copernicus Climate Change Service's (C3S) seasonal forecast covering July, August and September predicts extreme and hotter-than-average temperatures in the Mediterranean (pictured: probability of the temperatures being in the highest percentiles of climatology for seasonal means, with an 'above-normal change of exceeding the 80th percentile)

The Copernicus Climate Change Service’s (C3S) seasonal forecast covering July, August and September predicts extreme and hotter-than-average temperatures in the Mediterranean (pictured: probability of the temperatures being in the highest percentiles of climatology for seasonal means, with an ‘above-normal change of exceeding the 80th percentile)

Italy is now also bracing for wildfires, with warnings that the heatwave combined with dry conditions could produce the ideal circumstances for blazes in areas like Sardinia and Sicily.

The island has been on the frontline in dealing with warmer summers due to climate change – registering Europe’s highest recorded temperature of 48.8C in 2021.

The summers are also getting longer as well as hotter, with concern that extreme heat is already gripping the area early in the season.

In Agrigento – a destination known for its incredible Greek temples – tourists are being turned away from bed and breakfasts as water supplies run dry.

Francesco Picarella, the local head of the hoteliers’ association Federalberghi, told The Times this week: ‘The water supply is on two or three times a week. All houses have cisterns to store water, but for some it is not enough.

‘Places with no water are diverting tourists to other B&Bs. And it’s only June.’

The capital Rome has also experienced severe heat, with pictures of baking tourists queueing up to get water outside the Colosseum.

The peak of the heatwave is expected today, before a weather system moves into northern regions which is expected to bring downpours, with thunderstorm warnings in place and heavy rain expected to cause flooding.

Chairs are seen submerged in floodwater after the surge in Majorca, with people walking nearby

Chairs are seen submerged in floodwater after the surge in Majorca, with people walking nearby

The water was filmed cascading over roads in the popular resort town of Puerto Alcudia

The water was filmed cascading over roads in the popular resort town of Puerto Alcudia

In video of the moment the water cascades over the road, people can be seen walking past the alarming flood

In video of the moment the water cascades over the road, people can be seen walking past the alarming flood

Meanwhile a warm air mass has resulted in a bizarre weather phenomenon in Majorca – a so-called ‘meteo-tsunami’.

In video of the moment the water cascades over the road, people can be seen walking past the alarming flood in Puerto Alcudia on the island’s northeast coast. 

Referred to locally as a ‘rissaga’, the phenomenon is caused by due to storms above the air mass, meteorologists say.

Fast-moving weather events such as thunderstorms cause the water to rise or drop ‘noticeably’ in just minutes with very little warning.

Spanish Met Office spokesperson Miquel Gili explained: ‘Pressure variations affect sea level. 

‘If the pressure increases, the sea drops; if the pressure drops, the sea rises. The main characteristic of these rises and falls is that they

‘In just 15 minutes the sea level can rise or fall very noticeably and then return to its normal state.’

It comes after an amber weather alert for the Spanish island was issued on Tuesday.

Spain’s national weather agency AEMET warned that there was a 40 to 70 per cent possibility of a meteo-tsunami happening between Wednesday 6pm and Thursday 8am.

Tourists hold umbrellas to shelter themselves from the sun as they walk near the Colosseum amid a heatwave in Rome

Tourists hold umbrellas to shelter themselves from the sun as they walk near the Colosseum amid a heatwave in Rome

Claira from Massachusetts uses a fan attached to her iPhone to cool off as she queues to enter the Roman Forum

Claira from Massachusetts uses a fan attached to her iPhone to cool off as she queues to enter the Roman Forum

Tourists try to deal with the heat as the air temperature reaches 42 degrees Celsius in the streets in Rome

Tourists try to deal with the heat as the air temperature reaches 42 degrees Celsius in the streets in Rome

A woman fills her bottle with water at a drinking fountain near the Colosseum amid a heatwave in Rome, Italy, June 20, 2024

A woman fills her bottle with water at a drinking fountain near the Colosseum amid a heatwave in Rome, Italy, June 20, 2024

Meanwhile it is dry conditions that are plaguing Turkey, allowing furnace-like wildfires to take hold in the Kurdish southeast region which have resulted in fatalities.

‘Five people died and 44 were injured, 10 seriously,’ when the blaze swept through two areas between the provinces of Diyarbakir and Mardin, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said the fire started late on Thursday, when a ‘a stubble burn’ some 30 kilometres south of Diyabakir spread quickly due to strong winds, affecting five villages.

The health minister said seven emergency teams and 35 ambulances were sent to the scene.

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish DEM party in a post on X urged the authorities to ‘quickly intervene’ to tackle the blaze from the air as it raged early on Friday.

‘So far, intervention from the ground has not been enough. The authorities need to intervene more comprehensively and from the air without wasting time,’ it said.

Pictures show smoke billowing over an area in southern Turkey amid wildfires

Pictures show smoke billowing over an area in southern Turkey amid wildfires

Smoke rises as fire-fighting planes drop water to extinguish a fire in a wooded area yesterday

Smoke rises as fire-fighting planes drop water to extinguish a fire in a wooded area yesterday

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire burning near Kumkoy, in Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire burning near Kumkoy, in Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, Tuesday, June 18, 2024

According to the latest figures from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), Turkey has suffered 74 wildfires so far this year, which have ravaged 12,910 hectares of land.

In the summer of 2021, Turkey suffered its worst-ever wildfires which claimed nine lives and destroyed huge swathes of forested land across its Mediterranean and Aegean coasts.

The disaster prompted a political crisis after it emerged that Turkey had no functioning firefighting planes, heaping pressure on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was forced to accept international help.

It also prompted Ankara to push through Turkey’s delayed ratification of the Paris Climate Accord, becoming the last of the Group of 20 major economies to do so.

Experts say climate change is set to fuel more fires and other disasters in Turkey unless measures are taken to tackle the problem. 

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