Status: 07/17/2022 10:47 p.m
Southern Europe is groaning under record temperatures and water shortages. The highest heat warning level has been declared for parts of western France. The peak of the heat wave is expected to be reached on Monday.
Given the expected heat, people in western France are being urged to exercise extreme caution. The weather service Météo France imposed the highest red warning level for almost the entire French Atlantic coast and other western areas. Only the southernmost tip of the coastline with the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department received the second highest orange warning level. This applies to a total of 51 French departments. The warnings are valid for 24 hours and are updated in the early morning and in the afternoon.
Temperatures of 37 to 40 degrees Celsius should often be reached in the south-west of the country on Sunday. The heat is spreading north. The climax of the hot spell in western France should then be on Monday. Temperatures here should often climb to 40 degrees Celsius or more. Temperature records would almost certainly be broken. According to the weather service, it should also get hotter in the east. Temperatures of up to 40 degrees are expected in this part of the country on Tuesday, while the west is likely to cool down slowly.
Impact on Tour de France
The persistently high temperatures also have an impact on the Tour de France. Because of the extreme heat, the extreme weather protocol of the Tour de France has come into force. As the organizers announced, three special regulations apply to the 15th stage from Rodez to Carcassonne at temperatures of 40 degrees.
The drivers can eat from the start up to ten kilometers before the finish. Empty bottles may also be thrown away outside the garbage zones when cycling fans are at the side of the road. In addition, the grace period – i.e. the maximum gap to the winner’s time – was set to 20 percent, regardless of his average speed.
Hundreds dead from heat
In other parts of Europe, people have been suffering from extremely high temperatures for days. In Portugal and in neighboring Spain in particular, the thermometer has been regularly climbing above the 40 degree mark for about a week – with serious consequences. Hundreds of people died as a result, according to doctors.
In Spain, with around 47 million inhabitants, 360 people have died since last Sunday as a result of the 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. Paramedics could no longer help him, his body temperature had risen to 40 degrees, the rescue workers said.
In Portugal, with a population of a good ten million, 238 more deaths were counted between July 7 and July 13 than in comparable periods in previous years, the state news agency Lusa reported. These deaths were also attributed to the extreme heat.
In many regions, the heat and drought are also causing forest fires. Thousands of hectares were in flames in Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and France, many people had to flee the fires and entire villages had to be evacuated. In Spain, the greatest concern was a fire in the municipality of Pont de Vilomara, about 50 kilometers north of the Catalan metropolis of Barcelona. According to the authorities, the flames that broke out in the afternoon destroyed around one thousand hectares of forest in just six hours. They also captured some houses and vehicles. 200 people have been brought to safety, said the Catalan Interior Minister Joan Elena.
Southern Europe continues to fight forest fires
Moritz Pompl, ARD Rome, daily news at 8:00 p.m., July 17, 2022