Southern Europe experiencing extreme droughts and forest fires

Southern Europe experiencing extreme droughts and forest fires
Landscape during summer. Credit: Unsplash

While Belgium's mini-heatwave came and went, countries in southern Europe are experiencing severe heat which to drought and forest fires.

In Italy, the government has declared a state of emergency in five northern regions around the Po River during the worst drought in 70 years. Hot weather and low rainfall during winter have led to water shortages in northern Italy.

The regions Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto will be given €36.5m in emergency funds to battle the water shortage.

The drought is a menace to over 30% of Italy's agricultural produce, said the agricultural union Coldiretti. Moreover, several municipalities have announced they will ration water.

Southeastern Europe

Meanwhile, forest fires are increasing in southeastern Europe. In Greece, flames raged from Sunday to Monday in the northern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. Multiple villages were evacuated.

According to the Greek fire department, there are roughly 100 fires every day. Even if not every fire develops, firefighters are on high alert due to the wind in many areas.

Croatia and Albania have also battled forest fires. In Croatia's eastern border near Hungary, a forest fire broke out last week. On the Adriatic island Brac near Split, fires broke out burning parts of the forest due to a burning car on the side of the road, according to Croatian media.

Six areas in Albania were on fire fuelled by drought, heat and strong winds.

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