Europe, US, Japan reeling under 'dangerous' heatwave

A red alert has been issued for 16 cities in Italy

Heatwave global warming Students try to shield themselves from the sunlight at the Griffith Observatory gardens in Los Angeles | AP

Gripped under the threat of global warming, millions are battling intense heatwave across the United States, Japan and Europe. According to the US National Weather Service (NWS), the heatwave from California to Texas is to experience “extremely hot and dangerous” weekend.

Temperatures had crossed over 40C in Italy, making it extremely difficult for people to cope up. Spain and Greece have also been experiencing high temperatures for several days.

A red alert has been issued for 16 cities including Rome, Bologna and Florence for Sunday.

The temperature is expected to be around 48C in Sardinia by next week, reported Italian media.

The record high of 48.8C was recorded in Sicily in August 2021. With the heatwave intensifying, experts fear that it would set a new record.

“Temperatures will reach a peak between 19 and 23 July - not only in Italy but also in Greece, Turkey and the Balkans. Several local heat records within these areas may well be broken during those days,” Italian meteorologist and climate expert Giulio Betti told the BBC.

Meanwhile, Italy's government advised people not to get exposed in the direct heat between 11:00 and 18:00.

Greece has hit temperatures of 40C or more in recent days. The soaring temperatures forced the Acropolis in Athens to be closed for tourists during the hottest hours of Friday and Saturday.

Also, wildfires were reported from Spain's Canary Islands. Around 2,000 people were evacuated as a forest fire broke out on La Palma on Saturday morning. Over 4,500 hectares of land was destroyed in the fire.

Heatwave warnings A view of a burning forest fire close to homes, near Puntagorda on the Canary Island of La Palma | AP

In order to tackle incidents of fires, the Spanish army has deployed 150 of its firefighters.

Countries like Serbia and Hungary are experiencing daily temperatures around 35C as well.

According to the EU's climate monitoring service Copernicus, June (last month) was the hottest month on record.

According to reports, temperatures are likely to touch 38 to 39C on Sunday in parts of eastern Japan.

'Dangerous' heatwave warning

NWS has issued 'Dangerous' warnings of heat level across the south-west for the next week in the US.

Heat advisories were issued in many US states including Florida, California and Washington.

On Saturday, an all-time high 48C was recorded in Phoenix, Arizona.

Hospital admissions due to dehydration and third degree burns have also increased. Mobile clinics were deployed in several areas to treat those including homeless suffering from heat-related issues.

Death Valley in California - one of the hottest places in the world - is forecast to reach a record high of 54C.

The temperatures would "pose a health risk and are potentially deadly to anyone without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration,” read an update released by the authorities on Saturday.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around 700 people die each year in the US due to heat-related issues.

Canada also reported forest fires with the temperature going up.

Weather officials warned locals that this was "not your typical desert heat".

"It's the desert, of course it's hot'- This is a DANGEROUS mind set!", the NWS in Las Vegas tweeted.

"This heatwave is NOT typical desert heat due to its long duration, extreme daytime temperatures, & warm nights. Everyone needs to take this heat seriously, including those who live in the desert."

Experts pointed out that the rise in temperatures are due to the climate change and naturally occurring weather patterns called as El Nino.

Temperatures in El Paso, and Texas has been over 100F for the last 27 days.


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