Heat wave intensified in Europe

The unprecedented heat wave to hit southern Europe for several days should swell across France on Saturday afternoon and even reach absolute records, as firefighters in Spain try to control a giant blaze.

Almost all French territory is set to be affected on Saturday, and 11 provinces located mainly along the Atlantic coast and in the southwest are put on red alert, with temperatures locally possibly reaching 42 degrees Celsius, according to Mito France.

• Read also: on video | Northwest Spain ravaged by fires

• Read also: Southwest Europe crushed by heat

• Read also: Thousands of hectares have burned in Spain

The heat is expected to increase on Saturday afternoon “from the west of the Pyrenees towards the north-east of the country,” according to Météo-France which specifies that it “will generally be between 38 and 41 degrees Celsius in the south – west, center and the Paris region.”

“Points close to 42°C are locally possible in southern Aquitaine (southwest). Absolute temperature records can then be broken.”

The proliferation of heat waves in Europe is a direct result of global warming. Scientists say greenhouse gas emissions increase the strength, duration, and frequency of heat waves.

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

But starting on Saturday evening, occasional thunderstorms may occur on the Atlantic coast, the first signs of deterioration expected on Sunday evening, which will allow the heat wave to “decrease so that it only concerns the eastern side of the country,” according to Météo-France.

The heat wave has particular consequences for the homeless, who are at risk of dehydration.

In Toulouse (southwest), the Red Cross organizes invasion events to distribute fresh water to them. Volunteer Hugo Guglier, 67, asserts that “the number of deaths in the streets in the summer exceeds the number of deaths in the winter.”

Farmers also have to adapt. Daniel Tofaloni, a farmer near Ellen (Pyrenees Orientalis), “attacked at dawn until 11:30 in the morning.” “After that, I can work in the evening, before dark,” said the sixty-year-old. In his tomato greenhouses, the temperature can reach 55 ° C.

“We are in a very early heat wave, a strong episode that lasts a little longer than expected,” French Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon stated, during a trip to a nursing home in the southwest, adding that “the hospital is clearly saturated, but it is meeting the demand.”

In Spain, firefighters continued to fight numerous fires across the country.

The most devastating fire forced the authorities to evacuate 14 villages, regrouping several hundred residents, in the Sierra de la Culebra mountain range, in the Castile and Leon region, near the border with Portugal.

According to regional authorities, some of them were able to return to their homes on Saturday morning after the flames moved away from their homes.

In total, nearly 20,000 hectares burned in this gigantic fire.

However, the government of Castile and Leon maintained that the fire was “still active”, referring to “unfavorable” weather conditions, with dry winds and high temperatures.

Firefighters also continued to fight other fires in Codel, in the Valencia region (southeast), or in Artesa de Segre, in Catalonia (northeast), where since Wednesday a fire has destroyed 1,600 hectares of land.

The heat wave has not spared Germany either, where temperatures can be felt as high as 40 degrees on Saturday, while some fires have already broken out.

In Brandenburg, the area around Berlin, the fire broke out on Friday and spread in the evening over an area of ​​60 hectares.

Another fire in the Trictal Valley, southwest of Berlin, is under control, but threatens to erupt again due to drought and global warming. About 6.5 hectares of forest were burned.

The United Nations on Friday called for “acting now” against drought and desertification in order to avoid “human catastrophes”.

“It is time for action: every action counts,” said Ibrahim Thiao, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), during a conference in Madrid marking World Drought Day.

#Heat #wave #intensified #Europe

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.