Fires, deaths in Europe heat wave

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

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

PIC­TURE: EPA

A Su­ma­tra tiger cools down by eat­ing ice at the Bioparco in Rome yes­ter­day.

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