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‘Hell is outside’, heatwave warning in Southern and Central Europe

A heatwave warning in parts of central and southern Europe has sent temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some places.

Authorities from Italy to Romania warned people to be cautious, drive carefully if going on vacation, drink plenty of water, and stay outside during the hottest part of the day, according to the Associated Press. Avoid going.

Italian authorities on Thursday issued a red weather alert for central parts of the country, but also for the capital Rome, and Trieste in the northeast. Officials warned that heat is increasing due to rising humidity levels and could affect sick people as well as healthy people.

A similar warning was issued in neighboring Croatia. Dubrovnik, Croatia’s main tourist destination on the southern Adriatic coast, recorded a dawn temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 Fahrenheit), indicating that the heat will not subside as the sun sets.

Forest fires have been reported this week in Albania, near the border with Greece, as well as in Bosnia and Italy.

Meteorologists say temperatures in major cities are even higher than officially reported temperatures where hot concrete radiates heat above ground.

“It was impossible to breathe yesterday,” said Antonila Spekanovic, from the Montenegrin capital Podgorica.

Temperatures in Podgorica reached 39 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. The city seemed deserted, with many of its inhabitants indoors or gone to the Adriatic coast or the mountains.

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“I spend my days under the air conditioning in the apartment, it’s hell outside,” said the electrical engineer from Podgorica.

Mandim Rogova, a meteorologist in neighboring Kosovo, said temperatures in the country have risen by an average of 2.5 degrees since the 1980s. He said that the current heat wave may persist till the end of July.

“Regionally we could see temperatures above 40C, in Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, and also in parts of Serbia,” he predicted.

The temperature in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, reached 34 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. The city zoo donated ten tons of ice to provide much-needed relief to the animals.

Street thermometers in Romania’s capital Bucharest on Tuesday and Wednesday showed 42 degrees Celsius, although the official reading was a few degrees lower.

Neighboring Serbia has reported record temperatures so far this summer, with temperatures in the north of the country at 35 on Thursday morning.

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