June 21, 2024

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“Southern Europe” sizzles as a heat wave prompts warnings to stay indoors, hydrate, and reduce physical activity.

“Southern Europe” faces a scorching week as heat warnings are intensified by Italian health officials. With temperatures expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius, the Health Ministry has called for enhanced house-call services for older individuals and the establishment of dedicated heat stations at hospitals to handle emergencies.

To protect vulnerable populations, the Ministry has issued 10 recommendations, including staying indoors during the hottest hours, staying hydrated with at least 1.5 litres of water per day, and avoiding strenuous exercise in peak daylight times. Local celebrities have even appeared on state-run RAI television to broadcast these recommendations, aiming to spread awareness.

The cause of this heatwave is a high-pressure anticyclone known as Cerberus, named after the mythological multi-headed dog guarding the gates to the underworld. This marks the third heatwave within a month and is expected to affect a significant portion of the Mediterranean until Wednesday.

In Rome, temperatures reached 39 degrees Celsius by Monday afternoon, with expectations of exceeding 40 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, particularly in cities like Sardinia and Sicily. The heavy demand for air conditioners has resulted in power outages in parts of Rome, straining electric grids.

Meanwhile, on the “Canary Island of La Palma” in Spain, a wildfire that began on Saturday continues to burn out of control. Weaker winds and cooler temperatures have aided firefighting efforts, but the blaze has already consumed approximately 4,600 hectares of land, including houses and buildings. Over 4,000 residents were evacuated but allowed to return by late Sunday.

Spain’s Aemet weather agency warns that this week’s heatwave will impact a significant part of the Mediterranean, with temperatures in some southern areas of Spain exceeding 42 degrees Celsius.

While Greece experienced a brief respite from the heat, with normal opening hours restored at the ancient Acropolis and other sites, two wildfires threatened homes outside Athens due to strong winds. Most of southern Greece, including greater Athens, remains on high alert for fire risk, and even more extreme temperatures are anticipated starting Thursday.

Not limited to the “southern Mediterranean,” “North Macedonia” has extended its heat alert for the next ten days, with predicted temperatures surpassing 43 degrees Celsius, and Kosovo authorities have also issued heat warnings.