Economy: ROUND: Southern Europe under the microscope

BERLIN Spain in particular is currently hit by heat. It should be particularly hot on Wednesday with temperatures up to 44 degrees in Andalusia in the south and Extremadura in the west. Combined with weeks of drought and strong winds, the heat promotes outbreaks and the spread of forest fires. The current worst fire was still raging in the Las Hurdes community near the Portuguese border.

In neighboring Portugal, fire brigades and civil defense also fought forest fires, sometimes well above 40 degrees, especially in the center of the country. Further northeast, according to the Gironde Prefecture, emergency services on the French Atlantic coast have brought 6,000 people to a safe place from the spreading flames. On Wednesday morning, as a precaution, five camps were evacuated near Teste-de-Buch, south of the city of Bordeaux. A temperature of 37 degrees was expected in the area.

On Wednesday, a forest fire broke out on the Greek holiday island of Samos, which could not be contained until the afternoon. On Thursday, the fire department issued the second highest warning level for several islands off the eastern Aegean coast, but also for the Attica region around Athens and the large islands of Evia and Crete. It has been written that there is a “very high risk of forest fires”. The day before, 35 forest fires were registered across the country in 24 hours.

Forest fires broke out in Turkey again. According to a spokesman for the responsible province of Mugla, several houses were also evacuated in the event of a fire on the Datca peninsula, which is popular with vacationers. A fire also broke out in the western province of Izmir, the responsible forestry authority said.

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Italian fire brigades in the Tuscan province of Massa Carrara on the Ligurian border on Wednesday fought fire on a difficult-to-reach hill, Tuscan authorities said. The South Tyrol fire department was busy extinguishing a forest fire in Bozen on Wednesday. The relief is not to be seen: holidaymakers and residents alike must expect another great summer heat for the coming weekend.

“The temperatures will increase in the coming days and it will also be the beginning of a new heat wave in our country,” said meteorologist Guido Guidi of the German Press Agency on Wednesday. Already on Friday, temperatures in the plain along the Po River in northern Italy will rise to 36-40 degrees Celsius. These include Tuscany, Lazio surrounding the capital city of Rome, eastern Sicily and Sardinia.

Contrary to the extreme heat of southern Europe, temperatures in parts of Germany rose Wednesday to a summer but relatively comfortable 34 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. With the exception of the coastal region, almost everywhere else, people expect a warm or hot summer day with temperatures ranging from 25 to 31 degrees.

Prospects for the coming days also remain summer. The sun and clouds are likely to change on Thursday, but will remain mostly dry and warm, according to DWD. At temperatures from 22 to 28 degrees, it cools only slightly, in the south and southwest it can even be up to 35 degrees. Thunderstorms are not excluded, especially in the mountains.

Following reports of a heatwave with temperatures around 40 degrees, DWD warned of panic spreading. At least the weather forecast for the next seven days does not indicate that the 40-degree mark will be reached and that previous temperature records could shake, a DWD spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke stressed the need for better preparation for heat and drought in Germany. “In the meantime, due to the consequences of the climate crisis, there are so many really hot days in Germany that it poses a threat to nature and also to us humans,” a Green politician at Deutschlandfunk said on Wednesday. Lemke wants to present a national water strategy by the end of the year.

An example from the south-west shows how far the drought can go in Germany: Low water levels are found in many small and medium-sized water bodies in Baden-Württemberg. According to the State Institute for Environmental Protection of Baden-Württemberg (LUBW), about 60 percent of the water gauges in the southwest are below the lowest water level in an average year. In some places, even the channels of rivers and streams have dried up. The reason: From January to June in Baden-Württemberg in Baden-Württemberg, only about 80 percent of the rainfall fell, which is typical of the long-term average during this period, Lubw explained. In addition, it was warmer than average.

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