Alert in Europe over rising temperatures

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By Seamus Kearney
Alert in Europe over rising temperatures

Health warnings are being issued across Europe as temperatures reach potentially dangerous levels in many places.

The strongest heatwave of the summer is predicted in the coming week, with more than 40 degrees expected in some regions.

The risk of fires breaking out is also a major headache for emergency services, already stretched to the limit in places.

Authorities are urging particular care of the elderly, small children and people in a weak condition.

Drinking lots of fluids is crucial, as well as staying out of the sun, wearing light clothes and finding ways to stay cool.

At home, windows and shutters should be closed during the day and regular checks should be made on those unable to look after themselves.

While it is difficult to get exact figures, heatwaves are thought to be responsible for hundreds of deaths when they strike, especially among the elderly or those already suffering from illness.

The Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics reckons that on average 200 more Dutch people will die every week during a heat wave, a 10 percent rise in deaths.

A heatwave in 2003 is thought to have caused 70,000 additional deaths in France and other European countries.

And it’s not just Europe suffering from the heat; headlines on record temperatures are coming out of countries including the US, Canada and China