Cerberus heatwave to climb to 48.8C across Europe as tourists in Athens taken to hospital amid ‘deadly’ temperatures

13 July 2023, 17:42 | Updated: 13 July 2023, 19:44

Rescue workers in Athens have been assisting tourists amid the deadly temperatures.
Rescue workers in Athens have been assisting tourists amid the deadly temperatures. Picture: Getty

By Jenny Medlicott

European tourist hotspots have been rammed with holidaymakers this week - despite temperatures soaring into the high 30s amid a deadly heatwave sweeping across the continent.

Hundreds of people were spotted queuing to see the Acropolis of Athens in the scorching heat on Thursday as the heatwave across Europe rises to dangerous levels.

A number of people queuing for the tourist attraction were sent to hospital as a precaution after rescue workers attended the area.

The Cerberus heatwave may see temperatures rise as high as 48.8C, as multiple European cities have been forced to issue red alert warnings.

A red alert warning means heat “would indicate significant risk to life for event the health population”, according to the Met Office.

“A red warning would be issued in conjunction with and aligned to a red NSWWS Extreme Heat warning. Several impacts would be expected across all sectors with a coordinated response essential.”

People at the Acropolis were transported in ambulances as temperatures rose to deadly temperatures, according to MailOnline.

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Temperatures rose to unbearable levels as tourists crammed the hotspot.
Temperatures rose to unbearable levels as tourists crammed the hotspot. Picture: Getty

Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey are among the European countries expected to be affected by the extreme weather event.

Named Cerberus, the heatwave is the result of an anticyclone weather system from the Saharan desert.

While the heatwave is expected to affect much of mainland Europe, the UK is not anticipated to be hit by the scorching temperatures.

The heatwave, which is expected to last for two weeks, has resulted in the death of one person since its arrival, after a 44-year-old collapsed due to the heat and later died in hospital.

“We are facing an unbearable heatwave,' Italian politician Nicola Fratoianni said.

“Dying from the heat is unthinkable - we should be taking measures to avoid tragedies like this in the hottest hours of the day.”

The local authorities have urged people to avoid unnecessary travel and alcohol to reduce risks.

Sun shades are to be installed at the Acropolis in Athens following reports of people fainting at the site and the Red Cross is planning to hand out free water to those in the crowds as they queue for the Pantheon.

Such heatwaves in recent years have intensified global fears about climate change, as climate activists call for urgent action amid the growing temperatures.

“How many more summers will we have to go through before we begin to convince ourselves of the fact that the rise in temperatures may not be a sporadic extraordinary event at all, but rather an irreversible process that has in fact already begun,” Italian immunologist Mauro Minelli told the Leggo newspaper.

Europeans have been urged to stay hydrated and watch for signs up sunstroke, which include vomiting and fainting, as the temperatures continue to climb.

“The world just had the hottest week on record, according to preliminary data,” the World Meteorological Organization said in a statement.

While UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said “the situation we are witnessing now is the demonstration that climate change is out of control”.