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Business News/ News / World/  Heatwave: Red alert issued in Europe's Italy, Spain; situation to worsen in California, Texas in US

Heatwave: Red alert issued in Europe's Italy, Spain; situation to worsen in California, Texas in US

Global heat waves scorching Europe, Asia, and the US have worsened, raising the risk of heat-related deaths, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

A woman drinks in Skopje, on July 18, 2023, as Europe braces for record-smashing heat. Europe braced for record-smashing heat on July 18, 2023 as withering heatwaves across the globe showed no signs of easing, and ongoing wildfires in Greece and the Canary Islands threatened homes while worsening air quality.

Global heat waves scorching Europe, Asia, and the US have worsened, raising the risk of heat-related deaths, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

Europe

Europe is experiencing scorching temperatures during the busy summer tourist season, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warns that the heat wave in the northern hemisphere will worsen. The EU's emergency response coordination center has issued red alerts for high temperatures in several regions including Italy, northeastern Spain, Croatia, Serbia, southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

In Rome, where topped out at 40C (104F) on Tuesday, tourists were ssen seeking relief by splashing in Rome's fountains and seeking shade under giant fans near the Colosseum The heat has prompted some travelers to go home early.

"(I) got a lot of pain in the head, legs and (my) fingers swelled up and I became more and more dizzy," said Anita Elshoy, who returned to Norway cutting her vacation short, as reported by Reuters. She was visiting Vasanello, a village north of Rome

In Greece, authorities told citizens close to a forest fire in Dervenochoria, north of Athens, to shut doors and windows as smoke approached.

United States

Extreme weather conditions are affecting Americans across the country. From scorching heat in Texas and Southern California to smoke-filled air from Canada's wildfires reaching the Midwest, the situation is dire. Flood warnings are in place for Vermont towns recently inundated, while Tropical Storm Calvin is expected to hit Hawaii.

Phoenix, Arizona, broke its all-time record with 19 consecutive days of temperatures surpassing 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius).

Amit Ghagoji, 40, who had set out for a hike in the trails of Phoenix's Papago Park, said, "It's like you open an oven door and it's the heat wave," Bhagoji said.

"If you're, like, making cookies or something and you open the oven door, it's going to hit you right in the face."

As per the regional weather office, high temperatures would range between 115F and 120F (48.9C) for five to seven more days if not longer.

"It'll take probably some monsoon thunderstorms and cooling rains to come - hopefully, eventually - that will help to cool things down," Tom Frieders, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Phoenix, said.

Heat waves to be more frequent, severe and deadly

The European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service says 2022 and 2021 were the continent's hottest summers on record. Europe's highest recorded temperature of 48.8C (120F) was registered in Sicily two years ago.

Scientists have long warned that climate change, caused by greenhouse gas emissions mainly from burning fossil fuels, will make heat waves more frequent, severe and deadly. They say governments need to take drastically reduce emissions to prevent climate catastrophe.

Heat waves this summer, which saw temperatures climb to 128F (53C) in California's Death Valley and over 52C (126F) in China's northwest, have coincided with wildfires from Greece to the Swiss Alps and deadly flooding in India and South Korea.

(Wih agency inputs)

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