Monday 16 September 2019

European heatwave: At least two people die from suspected heatstroke in Italy

Tourists queueing to enter the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP)
Tourists queueing to enter the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (Maurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP)

Denise Calnan and Callum Lavery

At least two people have died from suspected heatstroke in Italy.

The country is currently experiencing temperatures topping 40C.

A Romanian man (72) was discovered in a park in Milan, while the body of another man was found in the country in the central Italian region of Marche, according to Il Globo.

The Italian Ministry of Health has issued a red alert for Rome, Florence, Turin, Perugia, Rieti, Brescia and Bolzano on Thursday, while Milan, Venice, Bologna, Naples, Bari, Verona, Viterbo, Latina and Frosinone will join them on Friday.

Civil security services distributed water to tourists visiting famed sites around Rome under a scorching sun.

People are being advised to drink liquids, eat lightly, take care to preserve medication properly, and use air conditioning correctly.

The Italian Red Cross has set up a 24-hour hotline that people can ring for help and advice.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the Irish Travel Agents Association Pat Dawson said they are advising people to "remain hydrated".

"Judging by the huge temperature increase in France and parts of Germany, we are advising all people travelling to adhere to the normal precautions and remain hydrated, particularly families with young children and the elderly," he said in a statement.

"They should ensure that their accommodation is air conditioned and remember that severe sun burn can happen within only an hour so be careful not to lie in the sun for too long."

A woman cools off in a water fountain on June 26, 2019 at the Lustgarten in central Berli. Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP
A woman cools off in a water fountain on June 26, 2019 at the Lustgarten in central Berli. Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP
An elderly couple swim past a model boat at the Schwarzachtalsee lake in Ertingen, southern German. Photo by Thomas Warnack / dpa / AFP
A man sleeps on chairs in the Tuileries Garden in Paris. Photo credit DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
People cool off at a lake in Haltern am See, western Germany. Photo: INA FASSBENDER/AFP/Getty Images
A boy jumps from a diving board in to a swimming pool in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. Photo by Andreas Arnold / dpa / AFP
A jaguar cools off in the pool of the Bordeaux-Pessac Zoo in Pessac, southwestern France. Photo credit: MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images
Young people cool off in a fountain in Lustgarten park. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
A woman takes a picture of the Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) as she soaks her feet in the water of a fountain. Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
Children play under water jets in a fountain as they cool off during a heatwave in Nice. Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP)VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
People sunbath in front of the Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre). Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
People use an umbrella to shelter from the sun near the Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) during a heatwave in Pari. Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Image
A bear seeks relief from heat as it eats iced food at a zoo in Rome, Italy. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A bear seeks relief from heat as it eats iced food at a zoo in Rome, Italy. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A Civil Protection volunteer delivers free bottles of water to tourists in Rome. Photo: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
A bear seeks relief from heat as it eats iced food at a zoo in Rome. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A macaque seeks relief from heat as it eats iced food at a zoo in Rome, Italy. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Ring-tailed lemurs seek relief from heat as they eat iced food at a zoo in Rome, Italy, June 27, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Schools in France are taking precautions by spraying children with water and nursing homes are equipping the elderly with hydration sensors as the country battles a record-setting heatwave baking much of Europe.

The French national weather service activated its highest-level heat danger alert for the first time, putting four regions around Marseille and Montpellier in southern France under special watch.

Temperatures in the area are forecast to reach up to 44C (111F).

Some schools closed because they could not ensure safe conditions.

Teachers at the Victor Hugo primary school in Colombes near Paris have abandoned suffocating classrooms and are keeping children outside all day, sprinkling them with water and organising quiet activities in the shade.

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