Saturday 22 September 2018
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egypttoday
2 months ago

Melted asphalt, shoes for dogs: Europe wilts in heat

5 August 2018: Europe sweltered Saturday in intense heat with temperatures hitting near-record highs of 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit) in Portugal, while elsewhere high temperatures melted the asphalt or saw a highway shut down.

Here is a roundup:

- Spain: three dead -

In southern Spain, the heat continued to pound the tourist city of Cordoba reaching 44 C.

Over in the northeast, a fire at the border with France shut a highway between both countries as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze with the help of six water-dropping planes and helicopters.

The soaring mercury has already claimed the lives of three people this week.

A middle-aged man in Barcelona, whom media said appeared to be homeless, was found collapsed on a street Friday and taken to hospital where he later died of heatstroke, Catalonia s civil protection agency said in a statement.

Two other men -- a roadworker in his 40s and a 78-year-old pensioner tending to his vegetable garden -- also died from heatstroke this week.

- Portugal: peak heat, fire -

The heatwave was expected to reach its peak on Saturday, said Paula Leitao of the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA).

In Monchique in the south, a forest fire raged on two fronts, aided by a temperature of 46 degrees but a real feel of 50 degrees and very little humidity in the air, Victor Vaz Pinto, head of rescue operations in the district, told local media.

So far, close to 740 firefighters helped by 10 water-dropping planes and helicopters were working to put it out, according to Vaz Pinto and the civil protection agency.

In Lisbon, authorities have closed playgrounds and called on people to avoid picnics and outdoor activities.

Refuges for homeless people have also opened earlier in the day to allow them to take shelter from the crushing heat.

- Austria: dogs fitted with shoes -

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