Europe’s scorching heat wave has killed nine people in a week in Spain, health authorities said Aug. 7, as stifling temperatures kindled wildfires in the country and neighboring Portugal, where a ferocious blaze encircled a resort town.
Weeks of nonstop sunshine and near-record temperatures have caused droughts and seen tinder-dry forests consumed by wildfires from the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle, in what many fear could be the region’s new normal in an era of climate change.
Spain and Portugal approached record temperatures over the Aug. 4-5 weekend, with the mercury hitting 46.6 degrees Celsius at El Granado in Spain and 46.4 C in Alvega, Portugal, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
In the southern Portuguese holiday region, residents and tourists have been evacuated from around an Algarve resort town as fire crews struggled to extinguish wildfires that have raged for days, leaving 30 people injured.
The Arctic regions of Finland and Norway have been so hot that they have experienced 12 “tropical” nights so far this year, with temperatures topping 20 C.
Roughly a ton of dead fish has been scooped from rivers and lakes in Switzerland in recent days, as the heat raised water temperatures. (AFP-Jiji)