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Amidst the heatwave: hundreds of thousands of Sicilians are cut off from electricity and water supplies

Amidst the heatwave: hundreds of thousands of Sicilians are cut off from electricity and water supplies

The temperatures in the Sicilian city of Catania are almost unbearable.

Archive image: Keystone

In the midst of the heatwave, hundreds of thousands of people in and around the Sicilian city of Catania have been without electricity and water since last Thursday. Since then, more than 500,000 people have been affected by the power outage, a spokesman for the city of Catania told AFP.

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  • In and around the Sicilian city of Catania, hundreds of thousands of people have been without electricity and water since last Thursday.
  • Heat damage to underground cables is responsible for outages.
  • Authorities reported 47.6C on Monday in Sicily, Sicily’s second-largest city with a population of about 300,000.

In a statement on Sunday, the electronic grid operator of state-owned electricity company Enel blamed the malfunctions on thermal damage to underground cables.

There has been a power outage in the Catania region since Thursday, which in turn has caused water pumps to fail. According to water supplier Sidra, between 200,000 and 300,000 people were without water by Monday morning.

The asphalt shines at 50 degrees

“We are pushing on the one hand for climate change, which we should have paid more attention to for several years, and on the other for an infrastructure that does not seem suitable for the new conditions,” said Nello Musumesi, Italian Minister of Civil Protection and former regional president of Sicily, according to Italian news agencies on Monday in Catania.

Authorities reported 47.6C on Monday in Sicily, Sicily’s second-largest city with a population of about 300,000. According to the network operator e-Distribuzione, temperatures on the asphalt reached 50 degrees, which, combined with high humidity, made it difficult to dissipate heat. “We are in an exceptional weather emergency,” the network operator added. Hundreds of technicians have been deployed to solve the problems.

The authorities asked residents of the greater Catania region to use air conditioners sparingly and set up air-conditioned rooms for the elderly and the homeless.