Home WORLD EUROPA Heatwave peaks in southern Europe

Heatwave peaks in southern Europe

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Nearly three quarters of the French population, i.e. 45 million people, are affected by the red or orange levels of heatwave vigilance.

The heat was still increasing on Saturday afternoon, especially in the south-west, where peaks close to 42-43°C are measured locally in southern Aquitaineadds Météo-France.

Absolute temperature records are brokenshe explains, with in particular 42.9 ° C in Biarritz, or 2.3 ° C more than the previous record dating from 2003.

The heat sweeps the country from the southwest towards the northeast, adds the agency, which lists between 37 and 41 ° C in general on the southwest, the center and the Paris region.

Many festive, sporting and cultural events have also been canceled.

In some cities, museums welcome visitors in search of freshness. Bordeaux (south-west), where the mercury indicates 40 ° C according to Météo-France, has also made them free.

A pharmacy sign displaying the temperature.

Photo: afp via getty images / PASCAL GUYOT

In Paris, at the Liberation Museum, of General Leclerc and Jean Moulin, Sonia De Man, 70, a Belgian tourist who came with her daughter, confided that she had chooses to favor a museum during the day rather than going to Montmartre, as planned. They will also be able to take advantage of the opening of the parks and gardens of Paris all night long.

From Saturday evening, occasional thunderstorms could occur on the Atlantic coast, the first signs of a decrease in heat, expected on Sunday evening, which will allow the heat wave to gradually regress to no longer concern only the eastern flank of the countryaccording to Météo-France.

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The multiplication of heat waves in Europe is a direct consequence of global warming. Greenhouse gas emissions increase the power, duration and rate of heat waves, scientists say.

The current wave arrived from the Maghreb via the Iberian Peninsula.

Land ravaged in Spain

In Spain, firefighters continued to fight several fires, one of which ravaged nearly 20,000 hectares of land, while temperatures peaked at 43 degrees.

The largest of these forest fires was not yet under control on Saturday afternoon in the Sierra de la Culebra, a mountain range in the region of Castile and Leon (northwest), near the border with Portugal . In total, nearly 20,000 hectares burned there.

Eleven villages with several hundred people had to be evacuated before the threat of the flames, which led to the closure of a national road and a high-speed train line between Madrid and the region of Galicia (northwest) .

Spanish firefighters also continued to fight several fires in Catalonia and Navarre.

Emergency services battled several wildfires as Spain remained in the throes of an exceptionally hot spell that saw temperatures soar to 43 degrees Celsius.

Photo: afp via getty images / PAU BARRENA

Germany, the Netherlands and Italy affected

The heat wave did not spare Germany either. On Saturday, the highest temperature (36.4 degrees) was recorded at 4 p.m. in Waghäusel-Kirrlach (Haut-Rhin), according to the German Meteorological Institute (DWD). The feared record highs of over 38 degrees were not reached, however.

In Brandenburg, the region around Berlin, a fire started on Friday and spread in the evening over around 60 hectares.

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Another fire in the Trecktal valley, southwest of Berlin, is under control for now, but threatens to flare up again due to drought and high ground temperatures. Some 6.5 hectares of forest burned.

The first severe thunderstorms are expected overnight from Saturday to Sunday. According to the DWD, there could be gusts of up to 95 km/h locally in northern Germany as well as hail and heavy rain.

In the Netherlands, Saturday is expected to be the hottest day of the year, authorities said.

Temperatures could reach 35°C in the city of Limburg (south), according to the Dutch meteorological agency, which is particularly concerned about the consequences of the heat on the elderly and vulnerable.

Among the many other consequences of the heat wave, in Italy, cows’ milk production has dropped by 10%, with heat forcing them to drink up to 140 liters of water a day, twice as much as usual, the country’s main agricultural association, Coldiretti, said on Saturday.

The United Nations (UN) on Friday called for act now against drought and desertification in order to avoid human disasters.

: every action counts”,”text”:”Time to act: every action counts”}}”>It’s time to act: every action countssaid the administrative secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Ibrahim Thiaw, during a conference in Madrid on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

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