ATHENS, Greece (AP) – A heat wave in Southeastern Europe has fueled Deadly forest fires in Turkey and threatened the national electricity grid in Greece as governments scrambled on Monday to secure the resources needed to cope with the emergency.
Temperatures reached 45 ° C (113 ° F) in inland Greece and surrounding countries and are expected to remain high for most of the week.
For a sixth day, Turkey fought deadly forest fires along its coast and expanded an appeal for international aid, and was promised water-drop planes by the European Union. The fires have been blamed for the deaths of eight people in recent days.
Aid to the residents of the fire-ravaged areas of Turkey could not come soon enough. In the coastal village of Bozalan, the resident Esra Sanli looked at the fire.
“It’s burning. It’s obviously burning. There is no airplane, there are no helicopters, there are no (access) roads,” she said, sobbing. “How is that supposed to be extinguished? How?”
In Greece, a state of emergency was declared in fire areas on the island of Rhodes, which is near the Turkish coast. Workers with health problems were allowed to take time off, while Greek coal-fired power plants slated for retirement were restarted to support the national electricity grid, under pressure from the widespread use of air conditioning.
Pregnant women and other vulnerable workers in North Macedonia have been told to stay at home.
Then Mitchell, a professor of climate science at the University of Bristol, said the heat wave in south-east Europe was “not at all unexpected and very likely to be exacerbated by man-made climate change”.
“The number of extreme heat events around the world is increasing year on year, with the top 10 hottest years all occurring since 2005,” Mitchell told The Associated Press.
“We have seen a number of significant events this year, including a particularly dramatic heat wave in western Canada and the United States, which was extreme even for the current magnitude of climate change,” said Mitchell. “Those black swan events have always happened, but now they are set against the backdrop of a hotter climate and are therefore even more deadly.”
As the hot weather moved south, Italy and Croatia experienced storms as well as forest fires. A small tornado in Istria on Croatia’s northern Adriatic coast toppled trees that destroyed several cars hours before a large wildfire broke out outside the nearby resort of Trogir, threatening homes and local electricity supplies.
In the Italian coastal town of Pescara, about 30 people were treated for mild smoke inhalation after flames ripped through a nearby pine forest. Beachgoers nearby had to be rescued from this wildfire on Sunday by sea.
“This pine forest zone is a nature reserve and has been completely destroyed. It brings tears to see The environmental damage is incalculable. This is the heart of the city, its green lungs and today it is destroyed ”, said the mayor of Pescara, Carlo Masci.
Cyprus, which had recovered from a major forest fire last month, continued to keep water-dripping planes on patrol to respond to outbreaks of fires.
“If you do not react immediately to an outbreak with a massive reaction, it can quickly become difficult,” Forest Service chief Charalambos Alexandrou told state media. “The conditions are martial.”
During a visit to the electricity grid operator on Monday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged the public to avoid the use of ovens, washing machines and other energy-intensive devices during the day to reduce the risk of power outages. He described weather conditions in Greece as the toughest since a deadly heatwave in 1987.
It was the year Ioanna Vergou, deputy mayor of the northern Greek city of Skydra, was born. The city with 5,500 inhabitants was briefly one of the hottest in the country. She said urban workers were given earlier shifts and those in need of public services were provided with water and sent to an air-conditioned waiting area.
“A lot of people here have compared the heat wave to what happened in 1987,” she said. “But hopefully it will be easier this time. We’re all just waiting for it to be over. ”
___ Mehmet Guzel reported from Cokertme, Turkey and Colleen Barry reported from Milan, Italy. Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, Ayse Wieting in Istanbul, Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia, Menelaos Hadjicostis in Nicosia, Cyprus, and Konstantin Testorides in Skopje, North Macedonia also contributed. ___
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