Almost all of Europe is on alert over an impending heatwave as temperatures touch record levels and forestlands turn into
Almost all of Europe is on alert over an impending heatwave as temperatures touch record levels and forestlands turn into a pool of fire. Widespread wildfires have been ripping across southwest Europe and heading towards the north, signaling a heatwave in France, Spain, Portugal, Greece as well as Britain. Hectares of forest land have been burning since last week, putting thousands of lives at risk.
In France, the forest blaze forced more than 16,000 people – residents and tourists combined – to leave their cities and towns. Additional teams of firefighting planes, 200 firefighters and trucks are being sent to curb the fire. (AP)
In Portugal – among the worst hit by the raging widlfires – almost the entire country is still on high alert for forest fires despite a slight drop in temperatures. The country hit 47 degrees Celsius – a record for the month of July – last week. (AP)
Charred bodies of an elderly couple, who were trying to escape the wildfires, were found inside a burned-out vehicle in the devastated Portuguese northern municipality of Murça, authorities said on Monday. “It is a completely dramatic situation that is happening in the municipality of Murça... more than half of the municipality on fire,” Murça's mayor, Mário Artur Lopes, told broadcasters. (AP)
Britain was heading for its highest temperatures on record and firefighters battled blazes across southern Europe as a heatwave sent people hunting for shade and compounded fears about climate change. The government triggered a "national emergency" alert. British train companies have cancelled services and schools have also been closed as officials urged the public to stay home. (REUTERS)
In Spain, a wildfire raced across a field and engulfed a excavator near the northern town of Tabara, forcing the driver to run for his life as flames burned the clothes off his back. The heatwave has lasted more than a week and caused more than 510 heat-related deaths, according to estimates from the Carlos III Health Institute. The photo shows a view of a windmill burning by a wildfire at night outside Tabara, Zamora, in Spain. (REUTERS)