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In pictures: Rome suffers freak hailstorm and flooding

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image copyrightEPA
image captionPublic transport was forced to stop in Rome after freak weather hit the capital

A wave of extreme weather bringing hail, floods and strong winds has brought parts of Italy to a standstill.

After a long spell of hot weather, Rome suffered damage from a major hailstorm and torrential rains overnight.

Firefighters were called out nationwide, from Milan in the north to Sicily in the south.

Local authorities issued an orange alert - one below the highest - for the region of Calabria, where cities and towns ordered schools to stay closed.

Parts of Molise, Basilicata and Puglia are also on orange alert - while a lesser, yellow warning was issued for Abruzzo, Calabria, Sicily and Lazio.

image copyrightEPA
image captionSome drivers were forced to abandon their cars trapped in ice or flooded streets in Rome
image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionTorrential rains caused flash flooding in cities like Rome
image copyrightEPA
image captionPolice and firefighters responded to weather-related incidents across the country, including here in Rome

Strong winds in Milan toppled several trees, while in Bologna, the airport experienced delays due to difficult flying conditions. Florence and Pisa were also affected by the severe weather.

Despite the high alert warnings, forecasters predict clearer and warmer weather this week, with storms returning on the weekend.

image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionHailstones caused damage in the capital after a spell of hot weather
image copyrightAFP/Getty
image copyrightEPA
image captionSchools were closed down on Monday in regions across Italy, including Naples
image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionLightning flashed across the sky over the Pantheon in Rome

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Related Topics

  • Italy
  • Rome
  • Severe weather
  • Thunderstorms

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