US

Giorgio Armani helps tourists take refuge on his boat as he fled villa from wildfires

Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani has helped evacuate dozens of tourists after he was forced to flee his luxury villa on the island of Pantelleria due to wildfires.

The billionaire, 88, was entertaining guests at his seafront property on Wednesday evening and was sitting down for aperitivo when he noticed a cloud of smoke coming from a nearby mountain.

He immediately told everyone they needed to flee and sure enough, the flames started roaring from Cala Cinque Denti towards the village of Gadir where he lives.

The designer helped them into his boats and alerted the carabinieri and firefighters.

He then started going around the island located between Sicily and Tunisia, telling other tourists they needed to evacuate.

Flames burn beyond fashion designer Giorgio Armani’s villa on the Sicilian island of Pantelleria as many homes were evacuated

The billionaire, 88, was entertaining guests at his seafront property (pictured) on Wednesday evening

The billionaire, 88, was entertaining guests at his seafront property (pictured) on Wednesday evening

Armani has helped evacuate dozens of tourists after he was forced to flee his luxury villa

Armani has helped evacuate dozens of tourists after he was forced to flee his luxury villa

A spokeswoman for Armani told AFP ‘the flames reached near the house’, but he was not harmed.

‘It was the staff of Mr Armani who raised the alarm. However, Mr Armani decided to go by boat to warn the neighbours,’ she added.

The coastguard said 30 tourists were evacuated by boat after the fire broke out in vegetation on the northeast of the island.

Nobody was hurt and no property was damaged in the blaze, although two water bombers were deployed early on Thursday morning to quell the flames.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the blaze but Pantelleria mayor Vincenzo Campo said it could be arson.

People are evacuated on a dinghy as they watch back at the wildfire burning in the Sicilian island of Pantelleria

People are evacuated on a dinghy as they watch back at the wildfire burning in the Sicilian island of Pantelleria

Firefighters used Canadair planes to douse the flames, along with ground teams to protect homes. Authorities said no structures appeared to have been lost

Firefighters used Canadair planes to douse the flames, along with ground teams to protect homes. Authorities said no structures appeared to have been lost

The head of the region's civil protection agency, Salvatore Cocina, said arson is suspected in two wildfires that forced around 30 people to seek refuge in boats or on safer parts of the island

The head of the region’s civil protection agency, Salvatore Cocina, said arson is suspected in two wildfires that forced around 30 people to seek refuge in boats or on safer parts of the island

He thanked the emergency services for their help, and condemned the ‘cowards’ who ‘unjustly trample this land’.

The head of the region’s civil protection agency, Salvatore Cocina, said arson was suspected in the two wildfires. 

Firefighters used Canadair planes to douse the flames, along with ground teams to protect homes

Local officials appealed for any information that would help identify the cause of the blaze, which started in two places a quarter-mile apart. 

Pantelleria is a popular beach and trekking destination that includes ancient archaeological sites and natural geographic formations. 

Much of western Europe saw little rain this summer, and drought conditions coupled with hot weather have fuelled destructive forest fires.

Local officials appealed for any information that would help identify the cause of the blaze, which started in two places a quarter-mile apart

Local officials appealed for any information that would help identify the cause of the blaze, which started in two places a quarter-mile apart

The coastguard said 30 tourists were evacuated by boat after the fire broke out in vegetation on the northeast of the island

The coastguard said 30 tourists were evacuated by boat after the fire broke out in vegetation on the northeast of the island

Nobody was hurt and no property was damaged in the blaze, although two water bombers were deployed early on Thursday

Nobody was hurt and no property was damaged in the blaze, although two water bombers were deployed early on Thursday

So far this summer, wildfires in Spain have blackened more than 700,000 hectares, the largest area since the European Union started collecting satellite data in 2006.

The EU’s Earth Observation Program said more torrid weather was forecast for Spain as two ‘disastrous’ wildfires burned in the eastern part of the country. 

The fires in the Mediterranean provinces of Alicante and Castellon have each charred more than 13,000 hectares, the EU agency said.

Meanwhile, authorities in Portugal reported that a wildfire burning for almost two weeks in the pine forests of Serra da Estrela national park was brought under control. 

Pantelleria is a popular beach and trekking destination that includes ancient archaeological sites and natural geographic formations

Pantelleria is a popular beach and trekking destination that includes ancient archaeological sites and natural geographic formations

The head of the region's civil protection agency, Salvatore Cocina, said arson was suspected in the two wildfires

The head of the region’s civil protection agency, Salvatore Cocina, said arson was suspected in the two wildfires

However, officials warned of weather forecasts indicating a dangerous new heat wave would arrive soon.

High temperatures, strong winds and a severe drought helped sustain the blaze in the park, where deep ravines and steep hillsides make firefighting difficult.

More than 1,100 firefighters remained in the Serra da Estrela, keeping an eye out for hot spots and embers that might be blown into untouched forest, the Civil Protection Agency, a government department, said.

The blaze charred more than 26,000 hectares of woodland, according to European Union data – about one-fourth of the park’s area.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button