EU Wildfire Roundup

Europe has been experiencing significant heatwaves, with several countries facing the threats of disasters such as wildfires, droughts, and health risks from extremely high temperatures.

As of July 19, Spain experienced temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, while the United Kingdom recorded its highest temperature on Tuesday at 40.3 degrees Celsius in east England.

Hungarian authorities issued their second Level 3 heat alert on Tuesday and will remain in force until Saturday.

Switzerland and southern France also recorded extremely high temperatures on Tuesday, reaching at least 38 degrees Celsius.

Italian authorities will declare a “code red” state of emergency in nine cities in the country, which would impact cities such as Rome, Florence, and Bologna.

Clare Nullis, a World Meteorological Organization spokeswoman, said that a new heatwave was building up in Western Europe, affecting primarily Spain and Portugal, and that it would intensify and expand throughout the other parts of Europe in the following weeks.

Nullis said that there is a high probability the heat wave would spread to the north and east Europe and reach western-central Europe and the northern Balkans at the end of this week.

Countries in Europe are also facing disaster alerts and health risks.

The Italian government declared a state of emergency on July 4 related to prolonged heatwave and drought conditions.

In northern Portugal, a pilot died when his waterbombing plane crashed in the Foz Coa area around the Spanish border, and at least 238 people have died as a result of the heat wave since last week.

A massive wildfire broke out on Tuesday in Athens in Greece, destroying homes and evicting residents in four communities near the Pentathlon mountain.

Robert Stefanski, chief of Applied Climate Services at the WMO, said at a joint press briefing with the World Health Organization that Europe’s heat wave is peaking in western Europe and is moving eastward, but that “temperatures will still be much above normal.”

The World Meteorological Organization also warned that the negative effects of climate change will continue at least until the 2060s.


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