Whirlwind kills man as flash floods hit Sicily

Fire brigade vehicles are seen in an area affected by a whirlwind in the Sicilian town of Modica, on Nov 17, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

PALERMO, SICILY (REUTERS) - A whirlwind killed a man in southern Sicily and damaged properties on Wednesday (Nov 17), while heavy rains flooded streets and forced the authorities to shut schools.

It was the second time in a month that exceptionally severe weather had battered the Mediterranean island, following a rare hurricane which drenched parts of western Sicily in late October.

A man in his 50s was struck by a whirlwind as he left his house in the early morning near the city of Ragusa, the civil protection office said.

Photographs from the area showed the wind had overturned a van and blown out windows in houses.

Numerous whirlwinds touched down in the region during the morning, officials said, as torrential rains triggered flash floods in several towns.

Sicily in August registered the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe - 48.8 deg C - and the authorities say sea temperatures around the island have been unusually warm this autumn, fuelling powerful storm systems.

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