Europe sizzles on sixth day of deadly heatwave

Montpellier, southern France, has witnessed some of the hottest weather in France this year
Montpellier, southern France, has witnessed some of the hottest weather in France this year

Europe sweltered Saturday on the sixth day of a widespread, deadly heatwave that has fuelled record-breaking temperatures, huge blazes and pollution peaks.

With France, Italy, Spain and some central European nations posting all-time high temperatures, officials pleaded with people to take precautions, with promise of reprieve from Sunday.

The heat has officially claimed four lives in France, two in Italy and another two in Spain, including a 17-year-old harvest worker, a 33-year-old roofer and a 72-year-old homeless man.

The hot spell sparked several blazes, including in Spain where firefighters were again battling high flames in strong winds and blistering heat Saturday just after they managed to contain another inferno after nearly 72 hours.

A fire that started Friday in the central Spanish town of Almorox burnt at least 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres), spilling over into the Madrid region and forcing the evacuation of a village, emergency services said.

In France, about 40 fires were reported, razing about 600 hectares and dozens of houses in the Gard department in the country's south.

Like a 'blowtorch'

This is the same region where a new French record of 45.9 degrees Celsius (114.6 degrees Fahrenheit) was set Friday, prompting the Meteo France weather service to issue its highest alert level of red for the first time.

Firefighters in Spain battled high flames in strong winds and blistering heat just after they managed to contain another inferno
Firefighters in Spain battled high flames in strong winds and blistering heat just after they managed to contain another inferno after nearly 72 hours.

It is not only humans struggling in the heat.

Winegrowers in the south of France said their precious crops have been badly burnt.

"Some vines seem to have been hit with a blowtorch," Jerome Despey said, while Catherine Bernard likened it to the effects of a hairdryer.

"I've been a winegrower for 30 years. I have never seen a vine burnt by a sudden onset of heat like yesterday," Despey added.

France is the seventh European country to ever register a plus 45-degree temperature, along with Bulgaria, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece and North Macedonia, Meteo France said.

  • People sought refuge from the heat near a water atomizer on a central square in Strasbourg on Thursday
    People sought refuge from the heat near a water atomizer on a central square in Strasbourg on Thursday
  • Festival-goers were enjoying the heatwave at the Glastonbury festival in southwestern England
    Festival-goers were enjoying the heatwave at the Glastonbury festival in southwestern England

'Avoidable deaths'

France remains haunted by the memory of the devastating heatwave of August 2003 in which nearly 15,000 people were estimated to have died.

"I want to appeal to the sense of responsibility of citizens—there are avoidable deaths in every heatwave," French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said.

Meteorologists point to a blast of hot air from northern Africa for the scorching early European summer, but the extreme heat is expected to subside from Sunday.

Scientists warn that global warming linked to human fossil fuel use could make such scorchers more frequent.

"Umbrellas" by Greek sculptor George Zongolopoulos provide little respite from sizzling June temperatures
"Umbrellas" by Greek sculptor George Zongolopoulos provide little respite from sizzling June temperatures

In Germany, the national weather service said temperatures were more than four degrees higher in June than an international reference period of 1981-2010.

The mercury will start dropping for France and Spain from Sunday, but still rise in Germany, with temperatures as high as 39 C in some places before cooling down from Monday.

The stifling heat caused air quality to nosedive in some European cities, prompting local authorities to take anti-pollution measures.

In Paris, Lyon and Marseille, authorities have banned the most polluting cars from the roads in recent days.


Explore further

Mercury tops 45C in France as deadly heatwave roasts Europe

© 2019 AFP

Citation: Europe sizzles on sixth day of deadly heatwave (2019, June 29) retrieved 21 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-europe-sizzle-deadly-heatwave.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jun 29, 2019
Despite the displays of "concern", really, no one cares. None of them will address the real cause of the depraving of the weather, chemtrails. None of them will address the issue, none will even say the word! Chemtrails started in the Fifties but were invisible then. But, Among othe rthings, they caused the number of tornadoes per year to go from a neaqrly constant 180 to eight or nine times that number now. Those who "care" make insispid remarks about there being more people to see tornadoes now. So where did 1000 tornadoes hide for a century? Chemtrails became visible in 1997 because the air seems to have beomce saturated. Pictures before 1997 don't show chemtrails, thousands of pcitures after show dozens in the sky. The liars show pictures of air shows or sky writing. No one really looks. No one cares! Blaming "fossil fuels" is apparently just an attempt to attack Republican businesses.

Jun 29, 2019
Don't worry Comrade. The heat wave will reach Moscow just as soon as the jet stream pushes east. Everyone knows that the Russians have their own chemtrail generating devices and are just as concerned about the Republican businesses as their own. Last I heard the Iranians were working on there own chemtrail spreading machines to attack the US chemtrails, but so far they are still in the very initial stages. Of course, we need to be concerned with China too, after stealing all of our patented chemtrail tech from the super secret 'Vapor Valley' ( sometimes called the 'Silicon Valley of Vaporware' or SVoVAPE!). But I digress.

Chemtrail forecasting has become a sizeable booming business. For a small fee, you can join a good chemtrail forecasting website and get the latest. But let me give you this URL for free;

https://earth.nul...9,35.339

Just add chemtrails as needed. :-)


Jun 30, 2019
Despite the displays of "concern", really, no one cares. None of them will address the real cause of the depraving of the weather, chemtrails. None of them will address the issue, none will even say the word! Chemtrails started in the Fifties but were invisible then. But, Among othe rthings, they caused the number of tornadoes per year to go from a neaqrly constant 180 to eight or nine times that number now. Those who "care" make insispid remarks about there being more people to see tornadoes now. So where did 1000 tornadoes hide for a century? Chemtrails became visible in 1997 because the air seems to have beomce saturated. Pictures before 1997 don't show chemtrails, thousands of pcitures after show dozens in the sky. The liars show pictures of air shows or sky blah
I liked you better when you were hyping that other idiot conspiracy crap, christianity.

Jun 30, 2019
Ummmm, unfortunately for your conspiracy theory, @Blotto, I have not only memories but pictures of contrails from 1967.

Care to try another one?

Jun 30, 2019
//http://contrailscience.com/images/1940sBombersWithEscorts.jpg

This one is a B-17 flying to bomb Germany in 1940. The contrails are made by P-51 Mustangs guarding the bomber group.

Jun 30, 2019
Ummmm, unfortunately for your conspiracy theory, @Blotto, I have not only memories but pictures of contrails from 1967
What did they smell like? Luftscheide?
https://youtu.be/H6AXrDCrSBk

Actual CIA footage uncovered!
https://youtu.be/4aLO9luqmss

-nothing stays hidden forever. Obtained via Freedom of Internet Bullshit Act.
This one is a B-17 flying to bomb Germany in 1940. The contrails are made by P-51 Mustangs guarding the bomber group
Are you saying chemtrails is how we won ww2? I think the bombs were probably more effective but who knows?

Jun 30, 2019
While I believe that carbon dioxide levels will increase earth temperatures, I also recognize that if we have only been measuring temperatures for one hundred years, we should get phenomenally record temperatures set, in some country, at least twice a year. Then take into account that we have many more measuring spots now, than one hundred years ago. Then take into account, the heat islands are getting stronger, due to more and more urban areas. Then take into account, if France has more trees or less trees than it had in the past. I'm sure there are other variables as well.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more