Italy issued hot weather red alerts in 16 cities on Sunday as meteorologists warned that temperatures across southern Europe could reach record highs in the coming days. Meanwhile, on the Spanish island of La Parma, at least 4,000 people were forced to evacuate as wildfires raged out of control, officials said.
Spain, Italy and Greece have been experiencing scorching heat for several days, destroying agriculture and sending tourists running for shade. But a new anticyclone called Charon, named after the ferry of the dead in Greek mythology, pushed into the region from North Africa on Sunday and could raise temperatures to 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) in parts of Italy earlier this week.
“We need to prepare for a severe storm that will cover the entire country day by day,” Italian weather news service Meteo.it warned on Sunday. “Ancient heat records will be broken in some places.”
Greece closed the ancient Acropolis at its hottest on Friday to protect tourists. Italy’s Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said authorities were keeping a close watch in Rome and urged people to be careful.
“It is not advisable to go to the Colosseum when it is 43C (109.4F), especially for an elderly person,” he told Il Messaggero newspaper, adding that people should stay indoors during the hottest time of the day, between 11am and 6am. pm In addition to the Italian capital, health alerts are in place from the central city of Florence to Palermo in Sicily and Bari in the southeast of the peninsula.
In Spain, wildfire risk watchers warned that it would not be easy to sleep at night, with temperatures unlikely to drop below 25C (77F) across the country. Forecasters predict the heat wave will intensify from Monday, when temperatures in the Guadalquivir valley near Seville in the south of the country will reach 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 F).
Europe’s highest temperature of 48.8C (119.8F), which was recorded in Sicily two years ago, could be surpassed in the coming days, particularly on the Italian island of Sardinia, meteorologists said.
(This story has not been edited by DavidDiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)