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Europe weather: Highest temperatures yet to come as tourists left stranded outside Greek landmark | World News

Europe is set to reach even higher temperatures over the weekend, as the Cerberus heatwave continues to grip the south of the continent.

Temperatures are expected to continue to swelter in Italy, with a second heatwave expected to rocket 12C (53.6F) above average in some areas on Sunday.

Five cities in Sicily, Sardinia and Puglia have issued fresh warnings for individuals to avoid being out in the midday heat after the Italian health ministry issued the same warning in another 10 cities from Bologna to Rome on Friday.


Tourists exit the ancient Acropolis of Athens as the Greek culture ministry shut down the monument most of the day because of heat, Friday, July 14, 2023. Temperatures were starting to creep up in Greece, where a heatwave was forecast to reach up to 44 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country over the weekend. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

A similar “red alert” was issued in Cyprus, appealing for the public to take extra care and avoid using any machinery that could spark fires.

Temperatures are expected to hit a midday high of 43C (110F) on Saturday, and are not expected to go below 27C (77F) even through the night, while humidity will hit 65% along the coast.

It follows temperatures of above 40C (104F) in Greece, which left tourists disgruntled after the temporary closure of the Acropolis in Athens.

A boy cools himself in a fountain
A boy cools himself in a fountain in Greece. Pic: AP

Children cool themselves in a fountain of the central Syntagma square

Staff from charity the Red Cross handed out bottled water to dehydrated tourists waiting in long lines hoping to beat the Acropolis’ 12-5pm local time closure, but some were left disappointed at the last-minute announcement by authorities.

“I even bought a €50 ticket to skip the line to enter and I couldn’t enter the place,” Hector from Mexico said on Friday.

Read more:
Europe heatwave – latest: Tourists stretchered away and major attraction shut down
Why is Europe being hit by such high temperatures and when will it end?

Spain, Italy and Greece to swelter in 40C heat

Spanish coastal areas like Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, with Tenerife and Fuerteventura were also at high risk of forest fires.

A map created by Sky News, adapted from Copernicus Emergency Management Service data, showed most coastal regions at “moderate” or “high” risk of forest fires.

A volunteer gives water to a visitor near the Acropolis hill, during a heatwave in Athens, Greece, July 14, 2023. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi
A volunteer gives water to a visitor near the Acropolis hill. ic: AP

Meanwhile, inland areas painted a different picture – with much of the centre of the map under “very high”, “extreme” or “highly extreme” risk of blazes.

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How the heatwave is impacting Greece

People in Croatia found creative ways of staying cool, using mud to protect themselves from the glaring heat as the country reached 30-37C (86F).

“It [mud] is definitely better than sun screen, I think protection factor is much better,” said Josef, a Slovakian tourist visiting the coastal town of Nin.

Women walk covered with mud that is believed to be curative at the Queen's Beach in Nin
Beachgoers covered with mud in Nin

A couple covered in mud that is believed to be curative sit at the Queen's beach in Nin

People in Rome and Greece used the cities numerous fountains to cool off.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg weighed in on the high temperatures in a post on Twitter, saying global heat records should serve as an urgent wake-up call.

“Last week we experienced the hottest days ever recorded, many days in a row. We are also experiencing record high sea level temperatures and record low ice levels. This is an emergency,” she said.

Salvation Army volunteer Francisca Corral, center, gives water to a man at a their Valley Heat Relief Station, Tuesday, July 11, 2023 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Salvation Army volunteer in Phoenix, US

Away from Europe, dangerous heatwaves are also being seen in the US, with more than a third of Americans put under extreme heat advisories, watches and warnings on Thursday.

Phoenix hit 43C (109F) for the 14th consecutive day, putting it on track for a possible new record next week.

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