Sunday, August 6, 2017

'Lucifer' Heat Wave Strikes Parts of Europe, Killing At Least 2

Pam Wright
Published: August 5,2017

A woman uses a fan to cool herself and a child wile ridding on a tram in Bucharest, Romania, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Romanian meteorologists issued an extreme temperatures warning, with 42 Celsius (107.6 F) forecast for parts of western Romania and placing 12 counties under a "red code" heat alert for the next two days.
(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A relentless heat wave that has been dubbed "Lucifer" has gripped parts of Europe this week, killing at least 2 people in Romania.
According to the Associated Press, temperatures soared to record highs for several days, prompting authorities to issue weather alerts.
In Romania, a 45-year-old man collapsed and died Friday while working in a field, and a 60-year-old man died of a heart attack in the street in an eastern port Thursday.
Unprecedented heat in parts of France, Italy, Spain and the Balkans has sparked dozens of wildfires and damaged crops. Authorities issued traffic restrictions in some areas and banned outdoor work during the hottest part of the day as temperatures soared to over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
While hot summers are typical in the region, it's not common to have such high temperatures lasting several days.
"It is just too much," said 52-year-old real estate agent Sasa Jovanovic of the Serbian capital Belgrade. "Sometimes it feels as if I cannot breathe."
Meteoalarm, a pan-European operation made up of dozens of national weather services, has warned that "major damage and accidents are likely, in many cases with threat to life," reports Sky News.
Red alerts, which are issued when conditions are considered "very dangerous," were issued for parts of Italy, Switzerland, Croatia and Poland. Orange alerts were issued for Spain, southern France, Greece and much of the Mediterranean.
Authorities are urging people to stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and remain indoors. Because few homes have air conditioning in the region, health officials are suggesting people keep wet towels on windows to keep interiors cool.
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Visitors to the beaches along the Adriatic coast in Croatia are urged caution while traveling. Many urban dwellers flocked to the coast Saturday to avoid the heat in the city.
Some 15 wildfires have ignited in Albania, along with dozens of others throughout the region. A wildfire in the southern Greek island of Kythira, southwest of Athens, prompted the evacuation of a village and power cuts.
Train service in southern Serbia was delayed as tracks buckled in the heat, the AP reports.
Meanwhile, a pair of polar bears were offered chunks of ice and cold watermelons at the Budapest Zoo to help them survive the heat.
MORE: Northwest Heat Wave, August 2017

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