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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Fires, Floods, Heatwaves Plague Europe

A woman protects herself from the sun with an umbrella as she push a baby in a pushchair during a hot day at Phaneromeni square in central capital Nicosia

Report from Ankara the capital of Turkey says, the country has been hit by a massive heatwave, with air temperatures 8 to 12 degrees above seasonal norms throughout the week.

The western and southern coasts of the Mediterranean country are already experiencing extreme heat, and the thermometer is continuing to rise.

The heat wave is expected to plague the Aegean sea the hardest, and some fear that rising temperatures could cause wildfires.

A holiday village in the Olympos resort in Antalya’s Kumluca — where the temperature is expected to reach 39C by Friday — has already succumbed to the flames. Most of the wooden houses burned down within a few hours.

A large fire broke out in the Paphos district of Cyprus, east of the community of Yiolou, and spread rapidly through dry grass, low wild vegetation and trees.

Three villages were evacuated, while others have been put on high alert.

According to Fire Service Spokesperson Andreas Kettis, the fire has threatened homes in the nearby village of Psathi.

Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides has requested assistance from Jordan to put out the fire. He was in the neighbouring country for a scheduled state visit with the King Abdullah II of Jordan.

According to sources, the Jordanian head of state has ordered additional aircraft to help Cyprus with the firefighting efforts.

Two aircraft from Greece are also expected to arrive to assist in the operation.

In Murcia, southeastern Spain, a yellow warning for rain was put in place, and 25 liters of rainfall were expected.

On Tuesday, more than 50 liters per square meter accumulated in one hour in areas of the northwest. Calasparra and the Altiplano were the worst affected areas.

Between 60 and 65 liters per square meter fell in an hour in the Murcian town of Calasparra on Monday afternoon.

Farmers confirmed that considerable damage has been done to trees, crops, and infrastructure. Late-ripening fruit has been most affected.

“The olives have all been thrown away, as well as the vegetables that were planted there. It has destroyed everything,” said one farmer.

The mayor of Calasparra, Teresa Garcia, said they have “lost many kilos of fruit, more than 15,000 hectares affected between the towns of Cieza and Calasparra.”

Heavy rains caused severe flooding in many parts of the Spanish island of Mallorca.

The adverse weather caused flooding at the island’s airport in Palma de Mallorca, grounding several flights.

Footage showed puddles inside the building while roads were flooded outside the airport.

The heavy rain has now stopped, and no major casualties have been reported.

The heavy rains in the Balearic Islands have broken records, with up to 53 liters per square meter falling at Palma Airport. — Euronews via SG

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