European Heatwave ‘Lucifer’ Kills Five As Temperatures Soar Above 40C
More than five people have died as a heatwave with temperatures in excess of 40C engulfed Southern European.
In northern Italy, a woman was swept to her death as an avalanche of mud and water caused by the humid conditions hit her car near the Alpine ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
The car was recovered in a river bed covered in detritus but emergency services were unable to resuscitate the woman.
The incident followed the deaths of two pensioners, in the central Italian region of Abruzzo and the other in the south of the country, who were caught in wildfires.
Two weather-related fatalities were also reported in Romania, including that of a farmer who collapsed while working outdoors.
The heatwave has cost billions in crop damage and is, scientists warned, a foretaste of worse to follow in coming decades. Italian wine and olive production is tipped to fall 15 and 30 per cent respectively this year.
Unusually high temperatures, in some cases unprecedented, are being recorded across an area spanning much of the Iberian peninsula, southern France, Italy, the Balkans and Hungary.
Thermometer mercury has regularly risen above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Farenheit) across the affected areas, exacerbating the impact of an extended drought and the lingering impact of a July heatwave which sparked wildfires that claimed 60 lives in Portugal.
Hospital admissions have spiked 15-20 percent in Italy, where the heatwave has been named “Lucifero”, or Lucifer.
Emma Sharples, from the Met Office, said: ‘This extreme heat will have caught some holidaymakers out and they are advised to stay out of the midday sun abroad from 10am to 2pm.
‘They should stay hydrated and would be advised to stay close to the coast and swimming pools to cool down.’
In Rome, tourists have been risking recently-introduced fines for splashing in the Eternal City’s fountains to cool off.