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Heat record falls as Europe gasps for relief

The fierce heat waves that fueled the fierce wildfires in Western Europe pushed temperatures up to the range where heat records were set yesterday.
Experts blamed the rise in temperature for climate change and warned that it wouldn’t get worse.
“Heat waves are becoming more frequent and this negative trend will continue … at least until the 2060s, to climate mitigation,” Petteri Taaras, chief of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, told reporters in Geneva. It has nothing to do with the success of the effort. “
“In the future, these types of heat waves will be normal and we will see even stronger extremes.”
In France, 64 different regions recorded record high temperatures on Monday, confirmed by the National Weather Service. Most of them are on the western Atlantic coast, where temperatures have skyrocketed above 40 degrees Celsius.
However, the record high of 46C in mainland France, set near Montpellier in 2019, was not threatened this week.
The second heat wave to involve parts of Europe in the last few weeks has caused deadly wildfires in France, Greece, Portugal and Spain, destroying vast lands.
Firefighters in southwestern France were still struggling to contain two large fires that caused widespread destruction and forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes.
“Firefighters rang the doorbell and said they had to evacuate immediately,” the pensioner told La Test de Buch’s AFP when he left with his partner and pet in the car. ..
Near Dune du Pila, Europe’s largest dune, about 1,700 firefighters from all over the country, who have burned more than 19,000 hectares of forest so far, are fighting the two flames.
The president said President Emmanuel Macron was to visit the area hit by the fire today.
“That’s a pain,” said Patrick Daveto, Mayor of La Test de Buch.
“Economically, it would be very difficult … because we are a tourist town.”
In Greece, authorities have called on residents of eight villages to evacuate the fire route in northern Athens.
The Greek fire department said it had dealt with 39 fires nationwide in just 24 hours.
Almost 10 days after the latest heat wave, Spain continued to have more than 12 fires yesterday, including the northwestern province of Samora, where a major fire had already struck last month.
Known as one of Europe’s largest wolf sanctuaries, the June flames ashed about 30,000 hectares of land.
Nearly 6,000 people had to evacuate from it this week after the flames destroyed thousands of hectares of meadows and forests, according to local officials.
“Climate emergencies are deadly,” said Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after visiting a heavily hit area.
Rail traffic between Madrid and Galicia in the northwest remained stopped after a fire broke out on both sides of the track.
Recently, several people died of fire, but separately, a salaryman in his 50s died of heat stroke in Madrid.
In Portugal, strong winds and rising temperatures have caused nearly 2,000 firefighters to engage in fires in the central and northern parts of the country.
More than 800 firefighters were involved in a wildfire in the northernmost Villarreal region of Portugal, and three villages were evacuated. Mayor Mario Arthur Lopez said the fire that began on Sunday destroyed 10,000 to 12,000 hectares of forest.
A wildfire in Portugal has already killed two others and injured about 60.
Elsewhere, the Netherlands recorded the third highest temperature since the record began — at 39.4C in a city in the south of Maastricht, public broadcaster NOA quoted the National Meteorological Agency.
Dutch authorities have widened salty roads in some areas to prevent asphalt from melting and being damaged by the weight of the vehicle.
In Amsterdam, council workers watered the famous canal and cooled the bridge, as the steel in the structure could expand and prevent boats from passing through.
The parking lot on the beach in Scheveningen near The Hague was full by noon, and hundreds of beach fans evacuated under the pier to escape the sun.
“It’s like a vacation in Mallorca,” said Norwegian tourist Ane Herber, 25.
In neighboring Belgium, a large state museum, mainly in Brussels, took a rare step yesterday to keep it cool with free access to people over the age of 65.
The two reactors near Antwerp needed to reduce their production power by more than half in order to limit the temperature of the water discharged into the nearby river.
In Germany, the hot summers so far have caused the fear of drought, and the president of the German Farmers’ Association has warned of a “big loss” in food production.
Henning Christ, who grows wheat and other crops in Brandenburg, told AFP that his farm is 20% below average annual yield.
“We had little rain for months, coupled with the high temperatures,” he said.
“We have become accustomed to some droughts and dry seasons, but this year was very rare.”

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/721332/Heat-records-tumble-as-Europe-gasps-for-relief Heat record falls as Europe gasps for relief

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