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Southern Europe battles wildfires as heatwave spreads north



The heatwave that decimated southern Europe, resulting in hundreds of deaths and massive wildfires, is showing signs of abating Monday. It continued to the north towards Britain where authorities issued an extreme weather warning.

Scientists believe that heatwaves are occurring in many parts of Europe. The heatwave has seen temperatures rise to the mid-40s Celsius (over 110 Fahrenheit for some areas), and wildfires have erupted throughout France, Spain, Portugal and Spain.

While the temperatures in southern Europe began to cool this weekend, thousands upon thousands of firefighters battled wildfires. There was still a risk of more wildfires, according to authorities.

According to the Carlos III Health Institute in Spain, Spain was experiencing its eighth and final day of a heatwave lasting more than a week. It was responsible for more than 510 heat-related death.

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Galicia and Castille, Leon and Catalonia were all caught in flames. Spain was also saddened to hear of the death of a firefighter from Zamora in northwest. Extreme fires are threatening nearly the entire country.

El Pont de Vilomara (Catalonia): A group of evacuatees met in front a civic centre. Onofre Munoz (69), claimed that his van had been completely destroyed and that his home was now empty.

“We bought the van when I retired and it’s totally scorched. He claimed that they had nothing.


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A window in our home exploded, igniting a huge flame that reached the interior. We took photos of the destruction and realized that it was evident that it had occurred yesterday afternoon.

Official data shows that Spain saw more than 70,000 hectares (173,000 acres) of land burn in this year. This is the most destructive year in ten years. Leon caused a massive wildfire in Sierra de la Culebra, Castille that destroyed around 30,000 ha.

Spain also reported another wildfire-related death, following Sunday’s death of a fireman. A 69-year-old man died in a wildfire in Ferreruela, according to emergency authorities. According to local media, it was a farmer.

According to the Portuguese Institute of Meteorology (IPMA), even though temperatures dropped over the weekend in Portugal but wildfire risk remained high across most of the country.

According to authorities, more than 1,000 firefighters are fighting nine wildfires at the moment with the help of 285 vehicles as well as 14 planes. They are mostly located in the country’s northern regions.

Germany and Belgium were among the countries that anticipated the heatwave would strike in the coming days.

The EU said that it was closely monitoring wildfires within its southern member countries Monday. It also sent a firefighting plane to Slovenia over the weekend, to complement recent deployments to France and Portugal.

Balazs Ujvari spokeswoman for the organization and stated that they will continue monitoring the situation during the unprecedented heatwave. He also pledged to mobilize support when necessary.

He also stated that satellite imagery was provided by the EU to France. Separately, the Commission reported that almost half of its territory was at risk from drought in a separate report.

Britain had its hottest Monday ever, with temperatures of 40 Celsius (Fahrenheit) on Monday. Train companies had to cancel their services, and schools had to close earlier due to this. Ministers also advised the public to remain at home.

The government issued a “national emergency alert” because temperatures were likely to rise above the 38.7C (102F) recorded at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 2019.

“We had hoped we wouldn’t get to this situation, however, for the first ever time, we are forecasting more than 40C in the UK,” Dr NikosChristidis, climate attribution scientist at Met Office, stated.

The UK is already experiencing extreme temperatures due to climate change. He stated that 40C days are 10 times more likely in the current climate than they would be in a natural climate with no human intervention.

Gironde, in southwestern France, said Monday that the fires had destroyed 14,800 hectares (3777,000 acres) of land. More than 14,000 people have evacuated the area. France issued red alerts in many areas. These are the most severe and residents were asked to be “extremely cautious.”

Italy’s forecasters expect temperatures to reach 40C in most regions, including Italy where small fires were lit in recent days.

Switzerland was also affected by the heatwave. Axpo, the operator of Beznau’s nuclear power plant, said Monday that it had to reduce its output to avoid overheating Aare, which is where it draws its cooling water.

The Swiss government issued a heat advisory warning of danger in large areas of the country. Some areas saw temperatures of 36C (96.8F).

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