Italian island of Capri bans tourists due to water crisis

Italian island of Capri bans tourists due to water crisis

A water emergency prompted the mayor of one of Italy's most popular islands, Capri, to order a halt to the arrival of tourists on Saturday. The move was prompted by a water crisis that has deprived some areas of any water supply.

Mayor Paolo Falco said that without a water supply, it is impossible to guarantee essential services to “thousands of people” who travel to the island daily during the tourist season.

“The health and hygiene situation is explosive, we have taken our countermeasures and activated the crisis unit and issued a restrictive order,” he said.

The emergency was caused by a failure in the mainland's water system that provides vital supplies to the famous island.

At the moment water is still being supplied to most of Capri, but some isolated areas of the upper municipality of Anacapri are already dry. Only local reservoirs supply the network, which in the absence of supplies from the mainland risks being run out.

Meanwhile, tanks are expected to reach the island to support essential services that require water.

The Mayor's order was notified shortly after 9am causing an immediate stop to boat crossings.

The move has created long lines of passengers at the ticket offices at the ports of the southern city of Naples, the departing point for most ferries to Capri.

Ferries and hydrofoils that had already departed for Capri were contacted by radio by the maritime authorities, which ordered them to return to the mainland.