Cyclone Circe pounds Italy with thunderstorms

Bad weather comes after long heat wave

Cyclone Circe pounds Italy with thunderstorms

(ANSA) - Rome, July 24 - After a long, parching heat wave worsened wildfires this summer across much of Italy, especially the south and its islands, the country's weather has gone to the other extreme with destructive, torrential rains and hail. The cyclone Circe pounded much of Italy's south Monday and Tuesday, after hail storms dumped a thick layer of ice in the north over the weekend. In Brindisi, water penetrated three of nine operating rooms at the Perrino hospital, rendering them useless. Lighting struck the Lecce television station Telerama while a live news program was in progress. The bolt ignited a fire that severely damaged the station building and equipment. The telephones of Lecce firemen rang without stopping, and included calls from people trapped in their cars, their engines stalled as streets, underpasses and basements flooded, and manhole covers rose off sewers. In Basilicata's capital city Potenza, lighting struck, thunder pounded, and high winds blew throughout Monday night, as firemen labored to clear roads of listing trees, fallen branches and flooding. Italy's Department of Civil Protection issued a warning for heavy storms in central and southern Italy through Wednesday, with sunshine expected to return Thursday.

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