Europe 2006 Heatwave

Europe copes with record heat wave, 2 die in Spain

Two men have died from heatstroke in Spain as Europeans cope with a record heat wave.

Hot air from North Africa has caused the most severe heat wave since 2003.

The heat wave has brought drought and forest fires in areas as far apart as Britain and Greece.

Temperatures hit a scorching 45 degrees Celsius in some areas on the continent on Friday.

Weather forecasters predicted temperatures in Spain and Portugal could rise to 2 or 3 degrees higher, Presstv reported.

Parts of Portugal’s parched southern region of Alentejo were forecast to hit 47 degrees. The country is on alert to prevent a repeat of its worst fires in history last year, when 114 people died. Portugal’s Civil Protection agency reported 426 firefighters were putting out or checking fire alerts in the north and center. Fires typically flare late in the day when the weather is hottest.

In Spain, two men, a roadworker in his 40s and a 78-year-old pensioner, died from heatstroke this week in the southeastern region of Murcia.

In Germany, state rail operator Deutsche Bahn said it was offering free water to passengers in case of delays and would keep air conditioning running on its trains even when they are empty.

In the Italian capital, Rome, already well-equipped with free drinking water fountains, authorities are handing out bottles of water to tourists.

The national farmers’ union, Coldiretti, said that milk production was down 15 percent as cows suffered from the heat. At the same time, ice cream consumption was up 30 percent over the past week, the union said.

In France, huge swathes of the country have been placed on heat wave alert with the health ministry rolling out a TV and radio campaign alerting people to the dangers of what is expected to be the most intense heat wave since 2006.


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