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Heat wave causes fires, water rationing and alert in Europe

In the midst of an extremely intense heat wave, forest fires continue to punish Spain, where it is difficult to extinguish those that were already active, such as the one on the Atlantic island of Tenerife, while others were set off this Sunday and forced the evacuation of several towns in the regions of Galicia and Castile y León.

The biggest fire continues to be that of Tenerife, where the flames have already consumed 2.423 acre. Today, extinction efforts to halt the advance on its three fronts have been favored by a light wind, though the steep terrain makes work on the ground difficult. In Burgos, three cities and the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos had to be evacuated, as well as four other cities in Zamora.

In total, the fires of the last two weeks, favored by an intense wave of heat and strong winds, burned 100 a thousand hectares of forest in Spain, more than all that was lost for the same cause in 2021, according to data from the European System Information on Forest Fires (EFFIS) based on satellite images.

In France, in addition to forest fires, a large part of the territory is under the effects of a severe drought, forcing the implementation of water restrictions . Of the 95 departments of metropolitan France, 86 were on some sort of alert about the use of water this Sunday, according to the surveillance network Proluvia, dependent on the Ministry of Ecological Transition. The first half of July was the driest period ever recorded in the country, according to the Meteo France agency.

The most serious alert level, that of “crisis”, was declared in

departments, especially in the west, center and southeast of the country. Others 25 are on the second most serious level, that of “reinforced alert”. In all these departments there is some kind of restriction on domestic, urban, agricultural or industrial consumption. Some cities in the interior need to be supplied by tanker trucks to ensure the population’s consumption.

The heat wave is also spreading through Italy, which is experiencing its worst drought in 2021 years and has cities on red alert, the maximum level of emergency, a situation that will continue in the coming days. Bologna, Bolzano, Brescia, Campobasso, Florence, Frosinone, Genoa, Latina, Milan, Perugia, Rieti, Rome, Turin, Trieste, Verona, Viterbo, Civitavecchia, Pescara and Venice will have peaks of up to 40 degrees and minimums above 25, according to the latest bulletin from the Ministry of Health. On orange alert are Ancona, Cagliari, Catania, Messina, Naples, Palermo and Reggio Calabria, seven cities in the south of the country, where the air mass of subtropical origin parked between the Mediterranean and southern Europe is affecting temperatures less than in the north and center of the country.

The heat wave was named “Apocalypse4800” in reference to the zero thermal level, located at 4,800 meters above sea level. , for the reason that in no part of the Italian territory the temperatures drop below zero degrees, not even in the Alps. This can lead to faster melting of glaciers and cause landslides like the one that occurred in early July on the Marmolada glacier, where people died. .

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