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Europe swelters in record-breaking heatwave

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PARIS: Spain, France and other western European nations sweltered over the weekend under a blistering June heatwave, with some wildfires still blazing even as the weather began to ease. The soaring temperatures were in line with scientists’ predictions that such phenomena will now strike earlier in the year thanks to global warming.
Emergency services battled several wildfires on Sunday in northern Spain. The most alarming blaze in the north-western Sierra de Culebra mountain range has destroyed over 25,000 hectares, the regional government said.
Firefighters said cooler temperatures overnight had helped them make progress in their battle against the flames. Temperatures of over 40°Cel-
sius have been recorded in parts of Spain throughout the week, but they had dipped by Sunday in most of the country. The mercury was only expected to hit 29°C in Madrid on Sunday and 25°C in the province of Zamora where the Sierra de Culebra mountain range is located. There have also been fires in Germany, where temperatures reached 36°C.
France’s thermic indicator, an average of daily temperatures across the country, rose to 27. 4 degrees Celsiuson Satur- day, the highest-ever for the month, state forecaster Meteo France said. The southwestern seaside resort of Biarritz saw its highest all-time temperature Saturday afternoon of 42. 9°C,the forecaster said Many parts of the region surpassed 40°C. With the River Seine off limits to bathing, scorched Parisians took refuge in the city’s fountains.
“This is the earliest heatwave ever recorded in France” since 1947, said Matthieu Sorel, a climatologist at Meteo France, as June records fell in a dozen areas, leading him to call the weather a “marker of climate change”. The UK recorded its hottest day of the year on Friday, with temperatures reaching over 30°C in the early afternoon, meteorologists said.





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