Heatwave Lucifer hits Europe

Large parts of Europe will be sweltering in temperatures in excess of 100F (40C) this weekend.

The heatwave has been nicknamed “Lucifer”, reaching peak temperatures in Greece, Croatia, Italy France and Spain.

The European weather station “Meteoalarm” iss issuing red status alarms for 10 countries. Fears of forest fires, drought and heat fatigue for the elderly are all concerns for these countries which have already been enjoying the Europe’s hottest summer for a decade.

Recent fires near Saint Tropez in the south of France are warnings for the authorities and tourists to take care in this hot weather. Apart from the usual advice to avoid midday sun, use sunscreen and drink plenty of water, people are being warned not to do anything that can start a fire like throwing cigarette buts out of cars, leaving glass and plastic outside near wooded areas.

Wine growers in Italy have already started harvesting their grapes weeks earlier than normal as the extreme heat can cook the grapes on the vines. The grape has never been started before 15 August in living memory. A wildfire claimed the life of a seventy nine year old woman in Abruzzo, a central part of Italy. She was found dead having been overcome by flames that destroyed five acres of surrounding farmland.

Thirty three out of Spain’s fifty provinces have been put on alert as temperatures are expected to reach 110F. Twenty six towns and cities in Italy have been put on maximum alert by the health ministry. The Italian government is expected to declare a state of emergency in 11 regions as hospital admissions have risen by 15% as a result of the soaring temperatures.

In France, fifteen departments have been issued with an orange alert by the national weather agent, Meteo France. The areas include, the Riviera, and the French Alps.