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Extreme heat wave in Europe

Posted July. 27, 2019 07:20,   

Updated July. 27, 2019 07:20


“I’ve never experienced such an intense heat. I can’t stand it,” said a taxi driver named Gabrielle in front of the Lyon Station in Paris on Thursday (local time). Many people at the station sweated heavily, complaining about significant inconvenience and pains the heat wave has caused.

Paris saw a record high temperature of 42.6 degrees on the same day. It was 2.2 degrees higher than the previous record of 40.4, which was the highest ever temperature recorded in Paris on July 28, 1947 since officials began keeping records in 1873. The new temperature record was even higher than Cairo, Egypt, which is famous for extreme heat wave.

The heatwave in Europe is caused by a warm stream of air coming from Africa. If the extreme heat wave continues until next month, there could be a recurrence of the 2003 tragedy, where a massive heat wave killed almost 15,000 people, mostly the elderly, over two weeks.

Many people in parts of Europe are already suffering from sunstroke. According to French Ministry of Interior, 50 people have died this month alone in France. It cautioned people to avoid outdoor activities and asked the elderly and children to take extra care.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com