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    Western Europe hit by a dangerous heat wave

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    Western Europe has been hit by a dangerous heat wave, the first of the summer. It is expected to last a few days. It will pose a health risk to those in poor health, and atmospheric pollution.

    After learning from the heat wave in 2003, authorities have given the following advice to the population: elderly people, small children and vulnerable people should avoid going outside or go to places with air conditioning.

    With a maximum temperature of 41° expected in Toledo (centre), Spain will continue to bake on Tuesday. A large part of the county is on high alert due to the risk of fires.

    Spanish papers published advice for what to do at night time, including “don’t overeat, turn off all electrical devices and sleep alone (if that doesn’t cause any relationship problems)”.

    In France, temperatures have reached more than 40° in the Bordeaux region (South West).

    In Belgium, temperatures could reach 36° on Saturday. In Wallonia, town employees performing heavy tasks, like road maintenance, have had their working day reduced by an hour until the end of the heat wave.

    It was 35°C in Great Britain on Tuesday. British Rail has planned to reduce the speed of some trains as rails have buckled in the heat. Healthcare services have also given out advice: drink a lot of water, wear light coloured clothing and a hat, don’t leave animals and children alone in a car….

    The Netherlands put a “national plan to beat the heat” in place on Tuesday, with distribution of water and ice cubes every half an hour in retirement homes. It was put into operation when a temperature higher than 27 degrees was expected for at least four days running.

    In Italy, the hot weather will mainly affect the North of the country, Sardinia and the West Coast of Botte. 

    Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)