European Heat Wave Named ‘Lucifer’ Kills 5, Causes Wildfires Across Southern Europe

Temperatures over 40C were reported across Central and Southern Europe. In some parts of Europe, including Spain and the Balkans, temperatures rose over 42C. The heat wave also caused fires across Southern Europe.

“This extreme heat will have caught some holidaymakers out and they are advised to stay out of the midday sun abroad from 10am to 2pm.

‘They should stay hydrated and would be advised to stay close to the coast and swimming pools to cool down”, said Emma Sharples, from the Met Office.

In Rome, the heat wave led to the serious disruption in water supply, caused by protracted drought. The local media reported that the ‘Eternal City’ barely avoided water rationing.

“We avoided 1.5 million people ending up without water. It is good news for everyone! But we will not let our guard down,” the mayor wrote on Twitter.

At the same time, several southern European countries are battling with wildfires that killed 64 people in Portugal and devastated 111,120 acres of forest across the central parts of the country.

Wildfires were reported in Corsica, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia, while Macedonia declared a 30-day state of emergency in its southwestern mountainous region.

‘This prolonged period of extremely hot weather is particularly dangerous for people with existing health problems such heart conditions, high blood pressure and asthma, as well as older people and children,’ said Jeya Kulasingam, health coordinator for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Europe.

Meanwhile, the period of extremely high temperatures is expected to last into mid-August.

During the past two decades, Europe has experienced several deathly heat waves. A heat wave in 2003 resulted in the deaths of nearly 15 thousands people in France alone.

Photo Credit: AP