Two die, hotel evacuated in Sicily fires

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Two people have died and 700 tourists were evacuated from their hotel overnight following wildfires in northern Sicily, officials and Italian media reports said.

A 42-year-old woman died after trying to save her horses in Cefalu, east of Palermo, the local civil protection agency said late on Friday evening.


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She was with her father and brothers but is believed to have become disorientated by the heat and smoke and slipped into a gully, it said.

A 68-year-old man also died after fleeing his burning home near Balestrate, west of Palermo, the ANSA news agency said Saturday.

The estimated 700 guests from the Hotel Costa Verde near Cefalu were evacuated to a local sports hall late Friday as fires approached, although they returned around 2:00 am after the danger passed, ANSA said.

Firefighters reported a busy night across the whole of northern Sicily, although relief was expected from rain forecast later Saturday, due to last several days.

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