Southeastern European countries prepare for heatwave
By KONSTANTIN TESTORIDES and DEREK GATOPOULOS
SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) – Authorities in several Southeastern European countries have issued weather warnings ahead of a heat wave in the region expected on Thursday that is expected to push temperatures up to 43 C (109.4 F) in interior regions.
Public health officials in North Macedonia said on Wednesday that the country’s six administrative regions would be affected by the emergency and called for a break in construction work and called for initiatives at the municipal level to help people elderly and homeless.
High temperatures are expected throughout the weekend in North Macedonia and neighboring Albania, Bulgaria and Greece, as well as parts of Romania and Serbia.
In Albania’s central Dimal region, temperatures reached 42 ° C (107.6 ° F) on Wednesday.
In the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, municipal workers distributed free bottles of water to several locations in the city. Trucks were dispatched to drain sections of parks and public gardens.
Athens city officials this week began providing air-conditioned spaces to the public and advised residents to stay indoors at noon and early afternoon.
The Greek capital has also appointed a heat leader, becoming the first European capital to do so.
Athens is part of a European network of cities created to combat the effects of high temperatures, alongside Paris, Rotterdam, Glasgow and Seville.
“We’ve been talking about global warming for decades, but we haven’t talked much about heat,” Athens new officer Eleni Myrivili said after her appointment last week.
“I look forward to raising awareness among the citizens of Athens about the serious dangers of extreme heat and helping decision makers take action to cool the city and protect people and their communities. “
Forest fires raged for a second day in southern Greece, forcing evacuations in a mountainous area outside the western port city of Patras. Smoke from the fire was visible in the center of town. Forest fires have also been reported in Bulgaria and Albania.
Derek Gatopoulos reported from Athens, Greece. Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania contributed to this report.