Extreme Europe weather: Turkey battles new crisis after fires as Italy hit with 48C heat

Huge floods ravage northern Turkey

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Northern Turkey has been hit with severe floods and mudslides after the south was ravaged by wildfires, wreaking havoc and levelling acres of lands and homes. The floods on Wednesday were caused by unusually heavy rainfall, leaving villagers stranded on rooftops and cars being swept away in raging torrents. Turkey’s new weather crisis comes as other parts of Europe such as Italy struggle through unbearable heat.

In the video posted on RT, the Russian state-affiliated media, houses can be seen collapsing and cars are being dragged away by the uncontrollable flooding.

Streets in the regions of Bartin, Sinop and Kastamonu have turned into mud-laden streams from sludge and torrents of water.

Resident are seen standing on balconies, with a few people stranded on top of a petrol station, waiting to be rescued.

Agriculture and forestry minister Bekir Pakdemirli told the Guardian: From a meteorological point of view, we are perhaps facing a disaster that we have not seen in 50 or 100 years.”

World scientists believe that drought and a rapid succession of natural disasters are becoming more frequent and violent in Turkey due to climate change.

Restaurant owner Nuri Ersoz told Halk TV television by telephone: Within 10 minutes, everywhere was flooded.”

Meanwhile, Italy has been hit by the hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe-48.8C (119.8F).

According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the official record in Europe is 48C, registered in Athens in 1977.

Nicknamed Lucifer, the heatwave was caused by an anticyclone and has resulted in the new record being set in the city of Siracusa, Sicily.

Meteorologist Scott Duncan told BBC Newsnight: “Sicily is quite an interesting place.

“We’ve got an extreme weather event but the fingerprints of climate change are all over these records as they seem to break.”

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He also warned it “could be” that wildfires become a standard part of the summertime in southern Europe.

Sicilian-born Franco Basile said conditions on the island had been “unbearable” in recent days.

It’s really difficult to breathe, so even going outside, there’s a sort of warm wind – almost like a Sciroc of wind – and it makes it really really hard to breathe.

“It’s been really extreme.”

When asked if Sicilians had been given much advice from authorities, the adopted Mancunian said: “Not at the moment, only for the elderly to stay inside and cool down.

“We can only rely on the air con system that we have in some of the homes.

“Luckily, where I live we have air-con. Clearly, it’s not the best solution for the planet.”

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