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Heat wave has southern Europe sweating

August 5, 2017

A heat wave dubbed "Lucifer" has sent temperatures soaring to record highs across southern Europe. Authorities have issued weather alerts after at least two deaths.

Deutschland Kronsberg Menschen vor Sonnenuntergang
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Stratenschulte

At least two people were reported to have died from the heat - one in Romania and one in Poland - and many more have been taken to hospital suffering from sunstroke and other heat-related conditions.

Italy, the Balkans and parts of France and Spain are among the most affected countries, with the extreme weather resulting in wildfires and damaging crops throughout the region. Wine growers in Italy started gathering the grape harvest weeks earlier than usual due to the extreme heat.

Bosnian officials said the heat wave and drought had nearly halved the country's agricultural output, which accounts for 10 percent of the country's economic production. Neighboring Serbia reported a similar situation, and experts said drought could slash corn and soybean production by a third.

Official restrictions

Authorities in some areas issued traffic restrictions and banned work in the open during the hottest part of the day, as temperatures surpassed 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

Spain's national weather service was among those issuing an emergency high temperature warning for 31 of the country's 50 provinces. Italian authorities issued weather risk warnings for 26 cities, including the tourist hubs of Venice and Rome, where many fountains have been turned off due to drought.

Authorities in other countries urged people to stay indoors and drink water.

Heatwave roasts southern and central Europe

ss/cl (AP, Reuters)