September 17, 2021

The Tampa Herald

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Heat wave suffocates the Mediterranean with record-breaking temperatures

3 min read

The first heat wave of the year is hitting the Mediterranean countries that, after days of fires from which they are still recovering, are on alert for historical temperatures that break records, as in the case of Tunisia, where they have exceeded 50 degrees.

Worrying situation also in other countries on the southern Mediterranean shore, such as Morocco or Algeria, a country where the thermometers have reached 47 degrees, which makes it difficult to extinguish the fires that have already claimed the lives of 69 people.

On the north bank, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and the Balkan countries have taken measures to minimize the effects of this heat wave, which, according to weather forecasts, will not give truce until the weekend.

Tunisia recorded the highest temperatures in its history, for the second day in a row, reaching 50.2 degrees in the city of Kairouan (center), a record for the African continent and the second highest in the world, according to the National Institute of Meteorology (INM ).

The last time the country reported similar figures was in 2005 in the Tataouine region (south), at the gates of the Sahara desert, with 50.1 degrees.

The heat wave will leave temperatures between 39 and 45 degrees today, accompanied by sirocco winds, except in the southwest of the country, where it is expected to reach 49 degrees again.

The southern and central-western areas of Italy are on alert at least until the end of the week for temperatures that exceed 45 degrees.

The city of Syracuse, on the island of Sicily (south), reached 48.8 degrees, a figure that, in the absence of being confirmed, would represent a new record in Europe after the 48 degrees of Athens in 1977.

The rest of the southern regions are still on alert: Calabria, the tip of the Italian boot, which touched 42 degrees, today expects maximums of 38 degrees, the same as Campania, with its capital in Naples, and Lazio, the region of Rome.

Rome’s Civil Protection service has set up several water bottle supply points for Romans and the thousands of tourists who, despite the heat, stroll through the city.

Greece woke up this Thursday with local storms that gave a respite to two weeks of suffocation, with temperatures that exceeded 46 degrees, in which the country experienced the worst wave of fires in memory.

The slight drop in temperature and the rains, even if they were brief, have helped on the island of Euboea, the most hit by fire, where firefighters are focused on quelling outbreaks that are emerging in different parts of the north of the island.

Most of Spain is on alert for temperatures that may exceed 42 degrees this Thursday and 44 in the coming days, such as the regions of Aragon and Catalonia (northeast), which are at extreme risk.

Only the northern regions will be spared from this heat wave, for which the authorities have taken measures in some places, such as prohibiting or restricting the use of agricultural machinery, and access to forests and other natural landscapes.

The heat has also reached France, where peaks of 40 degrees are expected in the southeast of the country and a score of departments are under surveillance due to high temperatures.

 

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