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WEATHER REPORT
Three dead as storms ravage Italy's north
by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) Aug 6, 2017


Flights cancelled as wind lashes Portugal's Madeira island
Lisbon (AFP) Aug 6, 2017 - Dozens of flights in and out of the Portuguese holiday island of Madeira were cancelled on Sunday due to strong winds, stranding thousands of passengers, airport officials said.

Twenty-four flights which were scheduled to take off from the island's Cristiano Ronaldo airport were scrubbed, as were 24 that were due to land, Portugal's airport operator ANA said.

The cancellations affected around 5,500 passengers, an ANA spokesman at the airport near Funchal, the capital of Madeira, told public television RTP.

Six flights were diverted to the neighbouring island of Porto Santo and passengers made their way by boat to Madeira, he said.

Passengers formed long lines in front of flight counters to get information or sat on the floor of the packed airport while the waited for news.

Many complained that they were being rebooked on flights scheduled to depart at the end of the week.

Wind gusts of up to 75 kilometres (45 miles) per hour lashed Madeira, which lies in the Atlantic some 1,000 kilometres southwest of Lisbon, according to the national weather office.

The winds are only expected to die down on Monday afternoon.

The airport is recognised by pilots as one of the most difficult to land at in Europe due to its proximity to mountains and the ocean.

Part of the runway extends out over what was once a beach and is supported by columns that lift it above the ocean.

The airport was renamed earlier this year after Real Madrid's Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, who was born in Madeira.

Three people died in freak accidents Sunday as violent storms raged in northern Italy at the end of prolonged heatwave, police said.

A 41-year-old Belgian man was among the dead after a tree fell on his tent at a Rainbow Gathering counter-cultural summer camp in the Tramontina valley in the northeastern region of Friuli.

Another tree, uprooted by powerful winds, fell on a festival at Marzia in the Dolomites, killing another man.

A hiker was fatally struck by lightening on a path up a mountain in the same area, the Marmolada.

The weather-related deaths follow a storm-triggered mudslide on Saturday which swept a woman to her death on the outskirts of the ski resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo.

On Thursday, two pensioners died in central and southern Italy after being caught up in wildfires triggered by the heatwave and weeks of severe drought.

Rainfall in July was nearly 50 percent lower across Italy than is normal and peak temperatures have been hitting at least 40 degrees Celsius (104 Farenheit) across nearly the entire country for almost a week.

The highs are not unusual but the duration and widespread nature of the heatwave is, weather experts say.

WEATHER REPORT
10 hurt in freak Istanbul storm
Istanbul (AFP) July 27, 2017
At least 10 people were hurt, two of them seriously, when a violent thunderstorm struck Istanbul on Thursday, bombarding the city with hailstones the size of golfballs, local media said. The storm, which lasted about 20 minutes, paralysed traffic and caused flash floods that submerged cars in some streets, according to pictures on social media. Sixteen planes which had been heading to th ... read more

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