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Cold weather alert to remain after heavy snow paralyzes parts of Italy

Cold weather alert to remain after heavy snow paralyzes parts of Italy

ROME, Jan. 17 (PNA/Xinhua) — Italy’s civil protection agency has warned of prolonged alert for cold weather on Tuesday after snowfall swept central and southern part of the country on Monday.

Schools were closed in the southeast Puglia region, Basilicata, Molise, and Abruzzo as heavy snowfall hit central Abruzzo and the Campania region south of Rome.

A snow alert was issued in five out of nine provinces in the region of Reggio Emilia, central Italy, for Tuesday, while strong winds were forecast in the near Tuscany.

On Sunday, a homeless man was found dead in Rome, with first evidences suggesting he died from frostbite and hypothermia, according to media reports.

Overall, the exceptionally cold weather was blamed for at least eight deaths registered across the country last week.

From Monday on, the Italian Red Cross (CRI) said it would leave its headquarters in Rome opened at night for homeless people and stranded migrants.

The cold weather caused disruption to electricity and water lines, public transports, and roads in central and southern areas. Roads were cut, and some towns remained isolated due to heavy snow, especially in the mountainous Irpinia area, south of Naples, on Monday.

A water shortage caused by freezing temperatures was registered in the whole Avellino province, also south of Naples, according to ANSA news agency.

The Civil Protection agency renewed its bad weather warning for Tuesday, and said the alert would remain at “yellow level” (meaning critical conditions) in Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, and Puglia. The coastal areas of Campania and Calabria, and the western part of Sicily, might also be affected.

Gale winds were expected in central and northeast Italy on Tuesday. Heavy snowfalls have been registered all across the Alps — the mountain chain separating Italy from its border countries — and would continue in the next days, according to civil protection authorities.

Low temperatures were registered in the Alto Adige province at Italy’s border with Austria and Switzerland, with minus 20 degrees Celsius in some areas. It was the lowest degree registered since 2009, according to local meteorologists. (PNA/Xinhua)

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