Deadly 48C heatwave hits Europe with urgent warning issued to tourists

Large parts of Europe are on red alert as extreme temperatures ignite the continent, causing major health risks to millions of people. 

Heat levels are expected to exceed 40C in parts of Spain, France and Greece with this mammoth heatwave being named Ceberus.

As the school holidays approach in the UK, many tourists have been warned against the dangers of the heat expected to hit European hotspots.

Spain has been sweltering for days in temperatures of up to 45C, and overnight, many parts of the country did not drop below 25C. Weather maps show deep red patches where the mercury is soaring to extreme highs.

The Andalusian regional government has started telephone assistance and already it has received 54,000 calls since it opened in early June.

READ MORE: Killer 48C heatwave sweeps Europe as countries issue several red warnings

On the island of Majorca, an emergency hotline has had to deal with more than one case of heatstroke every day since May. In Italy, a red alert warning has been issued for 10 cities, including Rome, Bologna and Florence.

Italian politician, Nicola Fratoianni wrote on Twitter: “We are facing an unbearable heatwave.” He wrote how it was important to avoid tragedies such as the 44-year-old road worker who collapsed in the heat in Lodi, and later died.

The Cerberus heatwave – named by the Italian Meteorological Society after the three-headed monster that features in Dante’s Inferno – is expected to bring extreme conditions in the next few days.

Europe’s hottest-ever temperature of 48.8C was recorded near Syracuse on the Italian Island of Sicily in August 2021.

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In France, a peak of 35C is expected next week with red weather alerts for eastern and southern France. Last month France was submerged in flooding with chaotic scenes in the capital. Showers have already been striking parts of the country this week.

Whereas, holidaymakers jetting off for sun in Greece have been warned of sizzling 45C temperatures amid a heatwave.

Temperatures are set to average at 42C or 43C in Greece and will peak on Friday, July 14, at 45C. The areas of Greece which are expected to see 45C are Peloponnese in northern Greece and Thessaly. Meanwhile, in Crete, Athens and Rhodes, temperatures are expected to be 42C.

Met Office spokesperson Grahame Madge said: “The heatwave conditions which are affecting parts of southwest Europe and northwest Africa are expected to extend eastward eventually reaching the Middle East later in the week.”

He added: “Much higher than average temperatures are also likely at times further north across Europe, but these will be shorter-lived and less impactful.”

It comes as the world experienced its hottest week on record at the start of July, following the hottest-ever June, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

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