Status: 07/17/2022 10:47 PM
Southern Europe is grappling with record temperatures and a lack of water. The highest heat warning level has been declared for parts of western France. The heat wave is likely to reach its peak on Monday.
Given the expected heat, people in western France are being urged to exercise extreme caution. The weather service Meteo France imposed the highest red alert level for almost the entire French Atlantic coast and other western regions. Only the southern tip of the coastline received the second-highest orange warning level, with the Pyrenees-Atlantiques department. This applies to a total of 51 French departments. Alerts are valid for 24 hours and are updated in the morning and afternoon.
Temperatures should often reach 37 to 40 degrees Celsius in the south-west of the country on Sunday. The heat is spreading in the north direction. The peak of the scorching heat in western France should be on Monday. The temperature here should often climb 40°C or more. The temperature record will almost certainly be broken. According to the weather service, it should be warm in the east as well. The temperature in this part of the country is expected to remain up to 40 degrees on Tuesday, while the west is likely to cool down gradually.
Impact on the Tour de France
Persistently high temperatures also have an effect on the Tour de France. Due to the scorching heat, the Tour de France’s extreme weather protocol has come into force. As announced by the organizers, three special rules apply in the 15th stage from Rodez to Carcassonne at a temperature of 40 degrees.
Drivers can eat up to ten kilometers from start to finish. Empty bottles can also be thrown outside garbage areas when bicycle fans are on the side of the road. In addition, the grace period—that is, the winner’s maximum interval of time—was set at 20 percent regardless of his average speed.
Hundreds died due to heat
People in other parts of Europe have been suffering from extremely high temperatures for several days. In Portugal and especially in neighboring Spain, thermometers have been regularly climbing above the 40-degree mark for almost a week – with dire consequences. According to doctors, hundreds of people died as a result of this.
In Spain, with about 47 million residents, 360 people have died since last Sunday as a result of high temperatures, according to the newspaper “La Vanguardia”, citing the Carlos III State Health Institute. Reported in Madrid. On Sunday, a 50-year-old man collapsed on the street in Torrejón de Ardoz, near Madrid. Rescuers said paramedics could no longer help him, his body temperature reaching 40 degrees.
State news agency Lusa reported that in Portugal, with a population of a good ten million, there were 238 more deaths between July 7 and July 13 than in previous years. The scorching heat was attributed to these deaths.
Due to heat and drought in many areas, forest fires are also taking place. Thousands of hectares were in flames in Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and France, many had to flee the fire and entire villages had to be evacuated. In Spain, the biggest concern was a fire in the municipality of Pont de Villomara, about 50 kilometers north of the Catalan metropolis of Barcelona. According to officials, the flames that broke out in the afternoon destroyed about one thousand hectares of forest in just six hours. They also captured some houses and vehicles. Catalan Interior Minister Joan Elena said 200 people had been evacuated.
Southern Europe continues to fight wildfires
Moritz Pompl, ARD Rome, daily news at 8:00 pm, July 17, 2022
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