A water emergency is halting the arrival of tourists on the popular Italian island of Capri

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ROME (AP) — A water emergency ordered the mayor of Capri — one of Italy’s most popular islands — on Saturday to halt tourist arrivals, in a crisis that has deprived some areas of any water supply.

Without a water supply it is impossible to guarantee essential services to “thousands of people” who travel to the island every day during the tourist season, Mayor Paolo Falco said. “The health and hygiene situation is explosive, we have taken our countermeasures, activated the crisis unit and issued a restrictive order,” the mayor’s order said.

The emergency was caused by a failure in the mainland’s water system, which delivers vital supplies to the world-famous island.

At present, most of the island is still supplied with water, but some isolated areas of the upper municipality of Anacapri are already dry. Only local reservoirs supply the network, which risks running out due to a lack of supplies from the mainland.

In the meantime, tanks are expected to reach the island to support essential services, pending the restoration of full supplies.

The mayor’s order was communicated shortly after 9 a.m., immediately halting ticket sales.

The move has led to long lines of passengers at ticket counters at the ports of the southern city of Naples, the departure point of most ferries to Capri.

Ferries and hydrofoils that had already left for Capri were contacted by radio by maritime authorities, who ordered a return to port and disembarkation of passengers.

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