Heatwave: More evacuations as Mediterranean wildfires spread

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France has evacuated more than 14,000 people threatened by wildfires in the south-west, as fires also spread in Spain, Croatia and Greece.

Authorities in France’s Gironde, a popular tourist region, have evacuated guards from campsites – the tourists left earlier. Fires have spread in the Teste-de-Buch and Landiras areas.

In southern Spain, more than 3,200 people fled fires in the Mijas hills, though later some were able to return.

Portugal’s fires are contained for now.

However, the Portuguese authorities say at least 238 people have died from the heat over the past week.

The Mijas fires in Spain are not far from Málaga, a popular tourist area. Elsewhere in Spain, wildfires have broken out in the provinces of Castilla León and Galicia.

Across the Mediterranean – from Morocco in the west to Crete in the east – thousands of firefighters and many waterbombing aircraft have been deployed. Since Tuesday, the whole region has been sweltering in severe heat, leaving vegetation bone dry.

Heatwaves have become more frequent, more intense, and last longer because of human-induced climate change. The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to carbon emissions.

The French weather service has forecast temperatures of up to 41C (106F) in the country’s south on Sunday and new heat records are predicted for Monday. In Portugal, the temperature recently reached 47C.

In the UK there is an amber warning for extreme heat, as the country braces for record temperatures on Monday and Tuesday, possibly reaching 41C in some parts.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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