Potentially record-breaking heat waves engulf Europe. A deadly and sweltering heat wave is sweeping across Europe, bringing potentially record-breaking temperatures and raising grave concerns about the health effects, particularly as the continent prepares for an influx of tourists.
Parts of Spain, France, Greece, Croatia, and Italy are experiencing temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
“Temperatures are soaring across Europe this week due to an intense and protracted heat wave. “We’re just getting started,” the European Space Agency (ESA) stated.
Heat is one of the most lethal natural hazards; over 61,000 people perished in Europe’s scorching summer heat wave last year. The current heat wave – dubbed “Cerberus” by the Italian Meteorological Society after the three-headed creature that appears in Dante’s “Inferno” – has increased concerns for people’s health, mainly because it coincides with one of the busiest tourist periods of Europe’s summer.
Italy could experience record-breaking temperatures. According to the ESA, temperatures in Sardinia and Sicily could approach the current European record of 48.8 degrees Celsius (nearly 120 degrees Fahrenheit).
The Italian Ministry of Health issued an “extreme” health risk alert for 15 cities, including Rome and Florence, on Friday, as the heat wave is expected to persist through Saturday and Sunday.
It has already claimed at least one life in Italy, where a 44-year-old road construction worker perished in hospital on Tuesday after collapsing in the northern city of Lodi.
Several tourists have fainted in Rome this week due to heat exhaustion, with a British tourist fainting in front of the ancient Roman Colosseum on Tuesday.
Alessandro Miani, president of the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (SIMA), stated on Wednesday to say broadcaster RAI that Italy “has the sad record of being the European country with the highest number of deaths caused by heat waves.”
According to forecasters, Greece could reach 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 degrees Fahrenheit) on Friday and Saturday.
Due to the weather, the Greek Culture Ministry will close the Acropolis in Athens from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Friday. The police tweeted on Friday that police and emergency services assisted a female tourist in distress due to the humidity at the Acropolis.
Midday in Athens, according to the Greek meteorological service, temperatures will reach 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
Affiliate N1 reported that in Croatia, scores of firefighters were deployed after a large wildfire broke out near Grebastica, a small town near the coastal city of Sbenik.
N1 reported that nearly 80 firefighters with 28 fire trucks were deployed on Thursday to extinguish the conflagration, along with three Canadair firefighting aircraft and two air tractors.
According to N1, the area surrounding Grebastica has been left without power, and footage from the scene depicts destroyed vehicles and homes in the town. Reuters reported on Friday that smoke could be seen above the villages from adjacent beaches.
Next week, temperatures in the region are anticipated to remain around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
How to maintain calm
Heat is called a “silent killer” because it is invisible and can rapidly become lethal. The very young, the elderly, and those who must spend extended periods outdoors, such as outdoor laborers and the homeless, are especially susceptible.
The average body temperature is between 36 and 37 degrees Celsius (97 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit). When the temperature exceeds this threshold, the body sweats to cool down. Still, the higher the temperature, the more difficult it is to cool down, mainly if the air is humid and the sweat cannot evaporate as effectively.
Heat exhaustion can result in vertigo, nausea, and migraines. Heat stroke occurs when your body temperature reaches or exceeds 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Untreated, it can cause organ damage.
Staying indoors and avoiding physical activity during the hottest portions of the day, particularly between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., is one of the most important recommendations for heat protection. Outside, remain in the shadow.
Wear light, loose-fitting clothing, a hat, and sunscreen, and drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
According to Judith Linden, a professor in the emergency medicine department of Boston University’s School of Medicine, looking out for others is essential.
“If someone begins to feel lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous, or headache, it is time to act promptly. This involves removing them from the humidity and placing them in a more fantastic environment, and she said this week.