Heat Wave Grips Southern Europe as Scorching Temperatures Reach Record Highs, Pose Health Risks for Tourists

Europe Braces for Record-High Temperatures Amid Heat Wave

As scorching temperatures continue to grip southern Europe, officials are warning of even hotter weather to come next week. The closure of the Acropolis in Athens for a second day due to soaring temperatures is testament to the severity of the heat wave. The mercury is expected to top 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in several popular Mediterranean tourist destinations.

The heat wave, dubbed Cerberus after the three-headed dog in ancient Greek mythology, is being caused by a high-pressure anticyclone. Cities across the region are experiencing extremely high temperatures, with residents and tourists alike seeking refuge in fountains, pools, the sea, or shaded areas.

In Italy, 15 cities, primarily in the center and south of the country, were placed under heat advisories. These advisories are aimed at protecting older adults, infants, and other vulnerable individuals. While temperatures remained in the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Fahrenheit) across much of the Italian peninsula, Sardinia, Sicily, and Puglia were forecasted to reach between 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). High-tourism destinations like Bologna, Florence, and Rome were also included in the alerts. Rome, for instance, hit a high of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday and was expected to reach a scorching 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday.

In Greece, officials decided to close the sun-baked Acropolis monument from noon to 5:30 p.m. due to the forecasted temperature of 41 degrees Celsius (105.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Czech temperatures reached a new record high on July 15, with Plzen-Bolevec recording 38.6 degrees Celsius (101.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Spain’s Canary Islands experienced milder temperatures, but a wildfire on the island of La Palma led to the preventive evacuation of around 500 people.

Turkey’s coastal cities in the south and southwest faced temperatures in the high 30s Celsius (97-102 degrees Fahrenheit) and low 40s Celsius (104-109 degrees Fahrenheit). Antalya, a popular tourism hotspot, recorded a high of 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 degrees Fahrenheit). In the northwestern cities of Edirne, Kırklareli, and Tekirdag, 48 people were taken to emergency rooms with symptoms of heat stroke in the past two days.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to people to stay hydrated and act safely in the scorching summer after he himself was rushed to hospital for dehydration. To combat the heat, some Italian dog owners even took their pets to a beach near Rome designed specifically for dogs. Here, up to 150 dogs per day can roam freely and enjoy the benefits of the sea breeze.

As Europe braces for even hotter temperatures in the coming days, authorities are urging residents and tourists to take precautions. Measures such as staying indoors or in shaded areas, keeping hydrated, and avoiding leaving children or pets unattended in cars are being emphasized. The heat wave is also taking a toll on water levels in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, with the main water supply losing thousands of tons of water per hour.

With the extreme heat continuing and temperatures reaching record highs, it is crucial for individuals across Europe to stay informed and take necessary measures to protect themselves from the scorching temperatures.