Many countries across Europe braced for the second heatwave as the continent continues to experience soaring temperatures.
Scientists warn that this could be the new norm across many regions of the world. Tourists were seen taking a dip in fountains, and authorities and volunteers were seen fanning out to the sick, elderly, and the homeless, who have been the worst hit by the heat as the temperate Europe isn’t equipped to deal with such high temperatures.
Germany and Belgium recorded their highest temperatures of all time on Wednesday. Temperature records are being broken all over the continent. On Thursday, Paris experienced a scorching temperature of 42 degree Celsius. This heatwave is being attributed to the incoming dry and hot air from northern Africa.
In Paris and London, charity workers and authorities were seen handing out sunscreen and water to homeless people, and day centers were opened for them where they could rest and take a shower.
Ruggero Gatti, an IT worker, said, “They are in the street all day, under the sun. No air conditioning, no way to protect oneself from the heat, so for some it’s really quite complicated,” He had joined other Red Cross volunteers in handing out soup, water bottles, and yogurt to the homeless in the Parisian suburb of Boulogne.
Particularly, France is on alert as nearly 15,000 people, of which elderly were the worst affected, were killed in the 2003 heatwave.
After that, the French government came up with a color-coded heat alert system to make people aware of the expected dangerous temperature levels in their area and initiate government assistance.
The alert system reached its maximum level of red for the first time ever during last month’s heatwave, when France experienced its highest ever temperature of 46 degrees Celsius. A red alert was issued for about one-fifth of the French territory on Thursday, covering areas from the English Channel through the Paris region and further down to Burgundy.
As European summers are usually mild, few homes are equipped with air conditioning, which is not common in hospitals, restaurants, or stores either.
“There is likely the DNA of climate change in the record-breaking heat that Europe and other parts of the world are experiencing. And, it is unfortunately going to continue to worsen,” mentioned Marshall Shepherd, professor of meteorology at the University of Georgia.
Europe Continues to Experience Unprecedented Heat