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First Cerberus, now Charon: Brits' holiday warning as next 'hellish' heatwave strikes Europe, with temperatures hitting 47C
13 July 2023, 21:46
A second deadly heatwave is set to hit Europe, with the continent already scorched by a dangerous Saharan blast this week.
British tourists have been warned about "significant" risks to life in multiple European cities, as the Cerberus anticyclone, named after the three-headed hound in Dante's Inferno, forced temperatures into the late 40s Celsius.
But even after that burst of sweltering heat dies down, a fresh patch of extreme hot weather called Charon - named after the ferryman to the underworld in Greek myth - is set to pass into southern Europe.
Temperatures are set to rise to 43C in Rome and up to 47C in the Italian island of Sardinia next week.
It comes after land temperatures - how hot the ground is to touch - topped 60C in parts of southern Spain on Thursday.
Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey are among the European countries affected by the extreme weather event. Multiple European cities have been forced to issue red alert warnings by the heat.
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.”
Despite the warnings, European tourist hotspots have been rammed with holidaymakers this week.
Hundreds of people were spotted queuing to see the Acropolis in Athens amid the scorching heat on Thursday.
A number of people queuing for the tourist attraction were sent to hospital as a precaution after rescue workers attended the area.
Read more: Retail sales boosted by warm June weather
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.
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.
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said that "the situation we are witnessing now is the demonstration that climate change is out of control".