Scorching Heatwave Sweeps Across Europe

by Warren Seah

Scorching temperatures have led to the closure of the Acropolis in Athens for a second day, as officials warn of even hotter weather next week. Popular Mediterranean tourist destinations are expected to experience temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children, and pets are most at risk during this heatwave, caused by Cerberus, a high-pressure anticyclone originating from the south. Notably, Cerberus is named after the three-headed dog in ancient Greek mythology that guarded the gates to the underworld.

Heat Advisories in Italy

Fifteen cities in Italy, mostly located in the country’s central and southern regions, are under heat advisories. These alerts indicate a high level of risk, particularly for older adults and other vulnerable individuals. Although temperatures across most of the Italian peninsula are in the mid-30s C (mid-90s F), Sardinia, Sicily, and Puglia are projected to experience temperatures reaching between 38 C (100.4 F) and 40 C (104 C). Notable cities affected by the heat include popular tourist destinations like Bologna, Florence, and Rome. Rome is forecasted to see temperatures as high as 42 C (107.6 F) on Tuesday.

Athens Takes Precautionary Measures

In Greece’s capital city, where temperatures are predicted to reach 41 C (105.8 F), officials have decided to keep the sun-baked Acropolis monument closed between noon and 5:30 p.m., as they did on Friday. This preventive measure aims to ensure public safety during the peak hours of intense heat.

Wildfire Threatens Canary Islands

Although temperatures are milder in Spain’s Canary Islands, a wildfire on the island of La Palma has resulted in the preventative evacuation of approximately 500 individuals. Officials have cautioned that shifting winds and the island’s rain-deprived landscape may lead to an increase in evacuations.

Sweltering Conditions in Turkey

Coastal cities in southern and southwestern Turkey are experiencing temperatures in the high 30s (about 97-102 F) and low 40s (104-109 F). The popular tourist destination of Antalya recorded a scorching high of 44 C (111.2 F) recently. Visitors and locals are advised to take necessary precautions to combat the extreme heat.

Heat Wave Causes Emergency Room Visits in Northwestern Turkey

In the past two days, a total of 48 people were rushed to emergency rooms in the northwestern Turkish cities of Edirne, Kırklareli, and Tekirdag due to symptoms of heat stroke, as reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency.

Water Levels Decrease in Istanbul Amidst Heat wave

The scorching heat wave in Turkey is also impacting water levels in Istanbul, the country’s largest city. The Omerli Dam reservoir, which was already at 41% capacity due to decreased rainfall, is now losing a staggering 17,000 tons of water per hour during the early afternoon. Levent Kurnaz from Bosphorus University’s Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies shared this information with local media.

Heatwave Grips European Countries

Cooling Measures Taken in Warsaw

In downtown Warsaw, as well as other cities across Poland, makeshift hose fountains have been set up to provide relief to people and their pets. Residents are being reminded to never leave children or pets unattended inside vehicles.

A Dog-Friendly Beach for Canine Cooling

Meanwhile, dog owners in Italy have found a unique way to keep their furry friends cool. Located near Rome, “Baubeach” (or Woofbeach in English) is a dog-specific beach that can accommodate up to 150 dogs per day. Dogs are allowed to freely roam and play on the beach without their leashes.

According to the owner of Baubeach, Patrizia Daffina, the sea breeze provides a pleasant and refreshing experience for both dogs and their owners. Many dog owners, like Carlo Cerese, have noticed the positive impact of the beach on their pets’ energy levels. After a day at the beach, Cerese mentioned that his dog takes a good nap and appears to be unaffected by the heat.

Stay cool and keep your loved ones, including pets, hydrated during this heatwave.

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