Fires, deaths in Europe heat wave
SARAJEVO: Swathes of southern and eastern Europe sweltered in temperatures above 40ºC yesterday in a heat wave nicknamed “Lucifer” that has fanned forest fires, triggered weather warning alerts and damaged crops.
Italy and the Balkans were worst affected, though areas as far north as southern Poland also basked in abnormally hot temperatures and European weather hub Meteoalarm issued its highest grade “red” warnings for 10 countries.
At least two people have died – one in Romania and one in Poland – and many taken to hospital suffering from sunstroke and other heat-related conditions.
In Albania, 300 firefighters and soldiers struggled to contain as many as 75 forest fires and the country asked the EU for emergency help.
Firefighters were also busy in Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Croatia and authorities advised people to stay indoors and increase their water intake. Temperatures were expected to stay around 40ºC into next week.
Wine growers in Italy have started gathering the grape harvest weeks earlier than usual due to the extreme heat.
In Hungary, keepers at Budapest Zoo provided huge ice blocks to cool down two polar bears, which were also fed ice-cold watermelon. – Reuters
A Sumatra tiger cools down by eating ice at the Bioparco in Rome yesterday.