The drought in Italy continues, the water levels are sinking. Now a real heat wave is coming to the Italians.

In addition to the ongoing drought, a nationwide heat wave threatens in Italy at the weekend. The Ministry of Health issued the highest heat warning level for 22 Italian cities in its forecast on Thursday.

These include Rome, Palermo, Naples, Florence and Bologna. The experts warn of the negative effects on health from the heat. They advise, for example, not to go out in the sun between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and to avoid places with heavy traffic. In the official weather forecast, meteorologists expect temperatures of just under 40 degrees in Rome, Naples and Sicily.

Meanwhile, the situation on Italy’s longest river, the Po, continues to deteriorate. According to Wednesday’s situation report, the recent rains have hardly been able to remedy the situation. The river is very dry in some places. Because of the low water level, salt water penetrated the river bed at the mouth of the sea to the Adriatic Sea up to 30 kilometers inland. The Po River Observatory therefore recommends taking even less water from the stream and instead tapping into large lakes such as Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced measures by Rome to deal with the drought on Thursday evening. From Monday the government will take care of emergency plans in the affected parts of the country. The regions, especially in the north, have been demanding this for weeks. Draghi also pointed out structural problems: the country’s water reservoirs and pipes are in such a dilapidated condition that 30 percent of the water is lost in them.