Europe reels as repeated heat waves cause chaos

Europe reels as repeated heat waves cause chaos
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Eastern Europe was struggling on Thursday to deal with the consequences of extreme heat and drought, with forest fires causing evacuations in France and Italian farmers losing up to 80% of their harvest due to severe drought.

Firefighting planes from Greece and Sweden will arrive in France on Thursday, while other EU governments, including Germany, Poland, Austria and Romania, are also mobilizing resources to help France fight its raging forest fires, the report announced. French government.

“Today we fully benefit from European solidarity,” Borne told reporters during a visit to the town of Hostens, in the heart of the fires in the Gironde region of southwestern France. More than half of this year’s fires occurred in the Gironde.

A firefighter next to his vehicle in southwestern France.

A total of four planes from Greece and Sweden are expected to arrive in France today, as well as a team of 64 people and 24 vehicles from Germany, according to the Elysee Palace.

The Gironde fires have burned more than 6,800 hectares of forest and almost 1,100 firefighters are involved with more on the way. As of Thursday morning, 10,000 people have been evacuated from the area, according to the regional authority.

“The conditions are particularly difficult: the vegetation and the soil are particularly dry after more than a month without rain. Scorching temperatures (40°C today) (104°F) are expected to continue through Saturday and combine with very dry air to create very severe fire outbreak risk conditions,” according to the statement.

Irrigation systems in a corn field in Castelnovo Bariano, Italy.

Forest fires in France have been especially violent this summer, ravaging the southern and southwestern parts of the country and also appearing in the Normandy and Brittany regions, further north than usual.

Fires have burned 41,400 hectares in France since June 10, a big increase compared to the 2,040 hectares lost in the same period last year, the press office of the French Interior Ministry’s civil security department told CNN.

In Italy, farmers in some parts of the country have lost up to 80% of their harvest this year due to severe weather anomalies, the Coldretti agricultural association said on Thursday.

The drought has meant that the ground has been unable to absorb rain in recent storms, leading to flooding and mudslides, according to Coldretti.

The hail was “the most serious climatic event due to the irreversible damage it caused to crops,” the association said, adding that “in a few minutes it is capable of destroying a whole year’s work.”

Embalse de La Viñuela near Malaga, southern Spain, photographed on August 8.

The agricultural association estimates the damage to exceed 6 billion euros ($6.2 billion), equivalent to 10% of Italy’s annual agricultural output.

Elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Spain’s national weather agency AEMET has warned of high temperatures across Spain as the heat wave continues on the peninsula.

Heat advisories are in effect in several parts of the country for Thursday, with the highest concentration of affected communities in the northeastern regions of Spain near the border with France.

Temperatures are expected to rise to 40C, according to AEMET.

Most of the country is covered by heat warnings for Friday with maximum temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius expected in the north-east and south of Spain.

The UK is also suffering from another week of high temperatures, with the Met Office issuing an “amber extreme heat warning” on Tuesday.

“The extreme heat warning, which covers much of the southern half of England as well as parts of eastern Wales, will be in effect from Thursday until the end of Sunday with possible health, transport and infrastructure impacts,” Met Office said. in a sentence.

Temperatures are expected to peak on Friday and Saturday and are “likely” to reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the statement.

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