Tens of fires have broken out from Messina to Palermo on the coast and hills. Airplanes cannot be used to put out the flames due to the strong winds, the helicopter 'Goliath' of the Civil Defence is being flown in from Reggio Calabria to Cefalu' (Palermo).

The situation is called 'critical', the city is surrounded by flames putting at least 30 quarters at risk, new fires are breaking out continuously, confirming their malicious origins. At this point it is impossible to estimate the area that has already been devastated or the number of houses and forms already burnt down.

Some 50 people have been evacuated last night, though no exact numbers are available. Besides rescue workers, the vice-mayor and assessor for civil defence of Cefalu', Vincenzo Terrasi and assessor for environment Giuseppe Abbate are present at the scene.