Greece is facing a “historic and prolonged heat wave,” according to meteorologists. Mercury could rise to 46°C on the mainland in the coming days. Four villages in the Peloponnese have been evacuated due to a forest fire.
A warning was issued in Greece earlier this week due to the extreme temperatures. The heat wave is expected to last until early August. During the wave, nighttime temperatures are not expected to drop below 25 degrees, in major cities not even below 30 degrees.
Air-conditioned buildings are opened to citizens in several places. The government is also sending air-conditioned tents and containers to camps where migrants are received. Greeks are urged to refrain from activities that could lead to fires, not to travel unnecessarily and to use water and electricity in moderation. The Acropolis, the famous monument in the capital, Athens, is closed at the hottest time of the day to protect tourists from the heat.
Severe weather may trigger new wildfires or exacerbate already raging fires. For example, a massive fire broke out in the northwest of the Peloponnese peninsula near the city of Patras on Saturday.
Residents of nearby villages such as Ziria, Kamaris, Ashaya and Walberi were ordered to leave their homes via warning messages on their mobile phones. Nearby hospitals are being asked to prepare for possible injuries from wildfires. Several highways in the area have been closed. No traffic is allowed on the Rio Antrio bridge, which connects the Peloponnese to the Greek mainland.
At the foot of Mount Pentelikon, near the outskirts of the capital, Athens, a violent forest fire broke out earlier this week. Also neighboring Turkey Affected by dozens of forest fires.
The most dangerous heat wave in Greece dates back to 1987, when extreme temperatures were recorded for more than a week and more than a thousand people died.
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