The Italian Civil Protection Department issued a red alert for the regions of Basilicata, Calabria, and Sicily, and a lower orange alert was issued for Puglia ahead of fierce storms which began in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Schools across many parts of the southern regions announced closures for Tuesday, and the Civil Protection warned drivers of the risk of falling trees and swollen rivers. A tornado was reported off the coast of Siracuse, Sicily.
In Basilicata, the coastal town of Metaponto was also reportedly┬áhit by a tornado while nearby Matera suffered serious flooding. Restaurants and hotels in Matera’s ancient, Unesco-listed Sassi, or old town, suffered serious damage.
Near Bari on Tuesday morning a lorry crashed into a motorway barrier after losing control in heavy rain. No one was hurt in the accident, firefighters confirmed.
In Salento, Puglia, a large number of olive trees were reportedly damaged by strong winds, while the university of Salento closed due to the extreme weather lashing the province of Lecce.

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