Europe is battling a second extreme heatwave which has set new records. Widespread alerts warning of high temperatures have been issued across France, Germany, Spain and Belgium. French State forecaster, Meteo France, predicted that Paris would swelter in record temperatures of around 42 degrees Celsius. The capital’s current record of 40.4 degrees was last registered in 1947.
Notre Dame’s chief architect says the heatwave poses a new threat to the fire-damaged Cathedral. “I am very worried about the heatwave because, as you know, the Cathedral suffered from the fire, the beams coming down, but also the shock from the water from the fire-fighters. The masonry is saturated with water. It hasn’t moved’ says the Chief. Elsewhere, French reports suggested five deaths might have even been linked to the heatwave.
In Southern Spain, locals and tourists struggled to cope with the intense heat as the mercury soared there aswell. Spain’s weather agency AEMET has declared a heat alert in 36 provinces.
“Very bad, you can’t sleep at 30 degrees, but well at least here is not that bad, in Cordoba or Seville my family tells me they are dying. So we need to relax, to be in the shade, with water and to keep going. Because we actually can’t stop (working)’ says a local resident, Vicente Vega.
Furthermore, In Belgium, the weather authority has issued its first ever code red warning as the country experiences the hottest temperatures on record after about 200 years. People are advised to stay inside as much as possible and drink plenty of water. A few days ago, a Eurostar train even broke down in the extreme heat, trapping passengers for hours.
David Dehenauw, head of forecast department at Belgium’s National Forecast Agency, said “We’re about to break the national heat record for Belgium. We are announcing 39, or locally 40 degrees. We are observing the weather since 1833, so nearly 200 years and we never experienced this kind of temperatures.”
Temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees in many German cities this week aswell. The heat has the potential to bring along strong thunderstorms in West and Southwest Germany. The Netherlands also recorded temperatures of 39.1 degree Celsius in Kleine-Brogel.