Firefighters on the Italian island of Sicily are battling dozens of wildfires today, as temperatures reached 45 degrees Celsius, and on Friday night about 150 people were evacuated by sea.
The flames destroyed a concession area on the beach, which has sunbeds and umbrellas, and the airport in Catania, on the east coast of Sicily, was closed temporarily to prioritize helicopters and planes battling forest fires.
About 150 people trapped in two coastal areas of the city of Catania were evacuated Friday night by sea, where they were picked up by inflatable boats and taken to coast guard ships.
The governor of Sicily, Nello Musumesi, had already requested support from Rome to fight the fires.
Some of the fires appeared to have been deliberate, while others were of natural causes, as temperatures reached record levels, Nilo Musumesi told reporters.
The governor of the Sicily region also said that those convicted of arson face prison sentences in Italy, which are generally limited to six months or one year.
“Instead, it should be life imprisonment,” he said.
Forest fires also affect the provinces of Palermo, Syracuse and Messina in Sicily.
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