Heatwave sweeps across Europe

Heatwave sweeps across Europe

21 July 2007

published by news.excite.co.uk

Europe — A heatwave sweeping central and south-eastern Europe has killed at least 13 people this week, with soaring temperatures causing forest fires and damaging crops, officials said.

In Romania, where temperatures reached about 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), the Health Ministry said at least nine people have died since Monday due to the heat wave.

In Austria, where highs in most parts of the Alpine country have hovered near or above 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) for days, the health ministry said the deaths of three people in the country’s south were likely to be heat-related.

A 56-year-old woman collapsed and died in downtown Zagreb, Croatia, of what doctors believed was a heat-related heart attack.

Temperatures in the Balkan country reached about 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

Elsewhere in the region, in parts of Slovakia and Hungary, authorities distributed free water in some cities.

In the eastern Hungarian town of Kiskunhalas temperatures reached a record 41.9 degrees Celsius (107.4 Fahrenheit), according to the country’s national weather centre.

Firefighters in Greece, where the country’s Fire Service reported 115 fires in a 24-hour period, struggled to contain a blaze at an old army base near the capital Athens, where temperatures reached 41 degrees Celsius (105.8 Fahrenheit).

France, where the weather is normal for this time of year, is lending a hand to firefighters in Greece. Two Canadair firefighting planes left for Greece and will return home on Sunday night.

The heat has also sparked forest fires in parts of Italy, Romania and Bulgaria, where a state of emergency has been declared in the southern districts of Haskovo and Stara Zagora.


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