Europe Endures Scorching Heat, Portugal May See 47 Degrees Celsius

Europe Endures Scorching Heat, Portugal May See 47 Degrees Celsius

A heatwave from Africa has hit Europe leading to high alert across the EU, with Iberian Peninsula countries Spain and Portugal affected the most.

The town of Beja in Southern Portugal might see temperatures of 47 degrees Celius (116.6 Fahrenheit), the authorities warned.

There have been speculations that the current heatwave might break the European heat record which is 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 Fahrenheit), and was set in Athens, Greece, in 1977.

Public health services have been put on high alert across the Iberian Peninsula because of health warnings over the heat and the possible influx of dust from the Sahara Desert, which have been issued for all of Portugal and for a total of 40 of Spain’s 50 provinces, France24 reports.

Red alerts, the highest level of warnings, were issued for Northern and Central Italy where heatwaves have been common in recent years. Nearly 24,000 people died in Italy of heat-related problems between 2005 and 2016.

In Germany, the heatwave helped expose ammunition left over from World War II as the sharp reduction of the water level of the Elbe River revealed that the mud on its banks contains grenades, mines, and other weapons.

Over the past few weeks, the German police have found a total of 24 World War II munition pieces compared with 12 found in all of 2017. They have warned the locals against touching any such finds which are swiftly removed or defused on the spots by specialized technicians.

France’s national weather service, Météo-France, said on Thursday last month was the country’s third hottest July since 1900, with an average temperature of 23.2 degrees Celsius, 2.5 degrees above normal.

In Sweden, the heat caused melting of mountain glaciers, changing its highest peak, Mount Kebne at 2,111 meters. In July 2018, the peak lost 4 meters of its height because of the melting ice.

In Finland’s capital Helsinki, a local store, the K-Supermarket, invited locals to sleep in its air-conditioned spaces overnight.

Poland also saw untypically high temperatures of up to 34 degrees Celsius. Many of the country’s beaches on the Baltic Sea coast banned swimming because of health risks caused by algae blooms.

(Banner image: SevereWeatherEU on Twitter)

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