Southwest Europe is still suffocating and burning

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The southwestern Europe is still suffocating and burning

In Portugal , where more than 2,000 firefighters were mobilized on Friday to put out the fires, the fire also ravaged several houses.

Thousands of firefighters continued their relentless fight against the flames in France on Friday and in the Iberian Peninsula, where temperatures remained stifling on Friday, as further north the UK braced for “extreme” heat this weekend.

Thousands of firefighters continued their relentless fight against the flames in France and the Iberian Peninsula on Friday, where temperatures remained stifling, while further north, the United Kingdom prepared for this weekend in extreme heat. /p>

In the south-west of France, where two fires have burned more than 7,000 hectares since Tuesday, in particular near the very touristy dune of Pilat, on the Atlantic coast, the situation is still unfavorable, announced the prefecture of the Gironde department. (south-west).

These fires, which mobilize a thousand firefighters, have since Tuesday resulted in the evacuation of 10,000 people.

“I've never seen this and it feels like it's post-apocalyptic, really, it's falling everywhere, on cars, it is worrying. »

— Karyn, a resident of Cazaux, just before the preventive evacuation order

Triggered Thursday afternoon by the passage of a train, another fire ravaged at least 300 hectares near Avignon, in the south-east, before being brought under control.

< p class="e-p">In Portugal, more than 2,000 firefighters were still mobilized on Friday to fight in particular against four major outbreaks in the north and center of the country.

While the situation has improved somewhat, authorities have called for the utmost caution. We must be vigilant for a few more days […] prevention is better than cure, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa insisted on Thursday evening.

According to civil protection, these fires have caused one dead and sixty injured.

In France, temperatures, which reached 37/38 degrees in the Southwest and the lower Rhone Valley on Thursday, are expected to rise further to 38/40 degrees on Friday.

Since At the start of 2022, just over 30,000 hectares were burned in Portugal, the highest figure on July 15 since 2017, a year marked by deadly fires that killed around 100 people.

In the Spanish region of Extremadura, bordering Portugal and where thousands of hectares have burned since the beginning of the week, another fire with an unfavorable evolution broke out on Thursday after noon and threatened the Monfragüe National Park, a natural area protected for its biodiversity.

If the peak of this heat wave seems to have been crossed in Spain, the heat still left no respite for the inhabitants who will have to wait until the beginning of next week to experience slightly milder temperatures. This morning, it was already 37.2 degrees in the province of Badajoz (southwest) and maximum temperatures of 44 degrees were still expected in the country on Friday.

Thursday, it made up to 45.4 degrees in the center. The absolute temperature record in Spain dates from August 2021 (47.4 degrees near Cordoba, in the south).

In Portugal, where the mercury reached 47 on Thursday degrees in the north, a record for a month of July in the country, the maximum is expected to drop to 41 degrees on Friday.

In France, on the contrary, the temperatures, which reached 37/38 degrees in the South-West and the lower Rhone valley on Thursday, should still climb on Friday to 38/40 degrees south of a Bordeaux-Lyon line, but lessen on the other hand north of it.

Thursday it was up to 45.4 degrees in central Spain.

From Sunday, the United Kingdom is preparing for extreme temperatures, according to the Met office, which could beat the record of 38.7 degrees dating from 2019.

Unusually hot nights are also expected, particularly in urban areas.

The NHS public health service has warned of a jump in heat-related hospitalizations as the train companies have not ruled out unexpected cancellations due to the temperatures.

In Ireland, the mercury could rise to 32 degrees on Monday, just in below the absolute record of 33.3 degrees dating from 1887.

This heat wave is the second in barely a month in Europe. The multiplication of these phenomena is a direct consequence of global warming, according to scientists, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.

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