Portugal braces for heatwave and fires

Portugal braces for heatwave and fires

Portugal, which experienced a worsening drought last month, will be affected from Friday by a heat wave that has prompted the authorities to guard against the risk of forest fires, Belga News Agency reports.

“The government will issue a warning statement aimed at limiting any activity that could put populations in danger,” Interior Minister José Luis Carneiro said Thursday after a meeting with key civil protection officials.

This level of alert must also allow “the mobilization of the resources necessary for the effort that the next few days will require”, he added.

The Portuguese meteorological institute predicts “persistent hot weather, which should cause a heat wave in many regions” until next Thursday.

In the regions furthest from the coast, in the south of the country and in the Tagus and Douro valleys, temperatures will exceed 40 degrees Celsius from Friday, sometimes reaching 42 degrees, IPMA said in a statement.

“We are predicting a heat wave with temperatures well above average and for quite a long time,” Jorge Ponte, meteorologist at IPMA, told AFP, indicating that “certain records could be broken” early next week.

This heat wave comes in a country where drought observed since winter worsened further last month. According to the latest monthly climate bulletin by the meteorological institute, on published Thursday, 28.4% of Portuguese territory was in a situation of “extreme drought” at the end of June, against 1.4% a month earlier.

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