Saturday 24 August 2019

Europe bakes amid record-high temperatures

Parisians cool down in the fountains of Trocadero gardens. Photo: AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh
Parisians cool down in the fountains of Trocadero gardens. Photo: AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh

Angela Charlton

The second heatwave of the summer hit Europe yesterday as the continent baked in sweltering conditions.

Climate scientists warned this could become the new normal in many parts of the world, but temperate Europe - where air conditioning is rare - isn't equipped for the temperatures frying the region.

Tourists frolicked in fountains to seek relief, and authorities and volunteers fanned out to help the elderly, sick and homeless hit hardest by the heat.

Trains were cancelled in Britain and France while French authorities urged travellers to stay at home.

One by one, heat records are being broken across Europe. Yesterday afternoon the Paris area hit 40.6C, beating the previous record of 40.4C in 1947. Authorities said the temperature was still rising, as a result of hot, dry air coming from northern Africa that's trapped between cold stormy systems.

London expected to see 39C while areas of Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland were facing temperatures exceeding 40C.

In Belgium, the meteorological institute said the nation saw temperatures rise past the 40C mark for the first time since records began in 1833. The new all-time high is now 40.2C, recorded close to Liege in eastern Belgium's Angleur on Wednesday.

Germany recorded 40.5C on Wednesday, and the German Weather Service was expecting even higher temperatures yesterday.

In Austria, a two-year-old died of dehydration in the country's Styria region after he climbed into an overheated parked car without his family noticing and later fell asleep in it.

Irish Independent

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