BERLIN / OFFENBACH The heat over Europe was also felt in Germany on Tuesday, where temperatures often exceeded 35 degrees. In the west, DWD even considered temperatures above 40 degrees – in the evening the warmest place was Duisburg (Duisburg-Baerl station) with 39.5 degrees. It also made Tuesday the hottest day of the year so far. A month ago (June 19), 39.2 degrees were measured in Cottbus and Dresden. The annual heat record for Germany was not broken in 2022: 41.2 degrees – measured on July 25, 2019 in Duisburg and Tönisvorst on the Lower Rhine near Krefeld.
The World Weather Organization (WMO) in Geneva believes heatwaves like those in Europe will be normal during the summer months. “Such episodes are becoming more frequent and the negative trend will continue until at least 2060, regardless of the success of our climate protection efforts,” WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas said Tuesday. It can also be warmer in Europe. Governments need to do much more to mitigate climate change, Taalas said. “I hope these events will be a wake-up call for governments and that they will have repercussions in the next elections in democracies.”
The Italian fire department evacuated more than 100 people from their homes in Tuscany on Tuesday due to a large forest fire near Lucca. A fire in the Massarosa commune occupies the emergency services from Monday evening. Tuscany’s regional president, Eugenio Giani, spoke of an affected area of around 400 hectares. The smoke spread to the surrounding provinces. Five helicopters and four fireplanes fought the flames from the air.
In Greece, which also suffers from heatwaves, more pleasant temperatures were announced for Wednesday. Athens should be around 30 degrees heat, the maximum temperature around noon was predicted for the holiday Crete at 27 degrees. “Dream weather,” as the Greek media calls it, is the result of the strong northerly winds in and around the Aegean Sea. Civil defense warned that these winds could ignite the smallest fire into a major fire.
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According to the government, the forest fires in recent weeks in Portugal, a holiday destination, are also due to carelessness and deliberate arson. Interior Minister José Luis Carneiro said more than 50 people had been arrested by mid-July this year on suspicion of responsibility for forest fires. According to authorities, only 23 percent of all fires in Portugal are due to purely natural causes, he said. According to Carneiro, 13 percent. it concerned deliberate arson. According to the ICNF nature conservation authority, fires in Portugal have already destroyed nearly 60,000 hectares in just over six and a half months this year – more than twice as much as in the previous year.
The situation on Tuesday was dramatic with the heat even in Britain. In London, the fire department had to deal with major fires and declared a serious damage situation. In Coningsby, East English Lincolnshire, 40.3 degrees were measured in the afternoon, according to preliminary Met Office data – a British record. Before this week it was 38.7 degrees as measured at Cambridge in 2019.
The great fires also raged on the French Atlantic coast for several days and spread further on Tuesday. According to the prefecture in charge of the Gironde, 19,300 hectares of land burned down in a week south of Bordeaux.
In Germany, more and more forest fires are to be fought in the future without the support of fire-fighting aircraft. A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said there were no plans to purchase such aircraft, questioned by a German news agency. She referred to the responsibility of the Länder and local authorities for protection against disasters and fires. The federal government can only provide temporary resources to administrative assistance where the forces of the federal states and municipalities are insufficient – for example, by helicopters of the federal police and the armed forces.
Forest and vegetation fires occurring in Germany would not be as large as in Australia, the US or Canada, where fire-fighting planes are used to extinguish the fire, the ministry said. Where air support is required in this country, a helicopter may better distribute the water at certain points. CDU expert Henning Otte previously called for the purchase of firefighting planes: “The federal government must finally act and equip or acquire Bundeswehr transport aircraft in such a way that they can be effectively used to extinguish forest fires – even if this is not the primary task of the armed forces.” .