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Europe set to see 'hottest temperatures ever recorded' within days as deadly 48C Cerberus heatwave intensifies
14 July 2023, 06:09
Parts of Europe are set to see their hottest temperatures ever recorded next week with 48C possible, threatening further loss of human life.
The ‘Cerberus’ heatwave, named after the three-headed dog that guards the gates of hell, has already caused temperatures in excess of 40C caused by a weather front from the Sahara moving north.
It claimed its first life in Italy this week - a worker who collapsed while painting a zebra crossing. Tourists and locals have been pictured struggling to cope in the scorching temperatures, with emergency water supplies distributed by medics at the Acropolis and reports of people collapsing in the heat at the Colosseum.
Temperatures are due to rise even further - to 45C - in Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey by the end of next week.
Another wave of extreme heat - named ‘Charon’, the boatman who carries the souls of the dead to hell in Greek mythology, is due to arrive in days and could break heat records.
Land temperatures in Spain reached upwards of 60C yesterday, and forecasters are warning the 48.8C record set in Italy in 2021 is due to be broken on the islands of Sicily or Sardinia.
The European Space Agency said: “Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Poland are all facing a major heatwave with temperatures expected to climb to 48 Celsius on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia – potentially the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Europe.”
The Met Office does not anticipate a heatwave will reach the UK this summer.
“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.”
Health officials in Italy have issued red alerts for ten cities including Florence and Rome. The red alert means the heat poses a risk to the whole population, not just the vulnerable.
In Spain’s Zaragoza, temperatures are due to reach 46C by next Tuesday.
In Greece and Turkey temperatures are set to rise to 45C tomorrow and are unlikely to drop below 40C for a week.
Temperatures in Cyprus are also expected to reach 42C on Saturday.