With temperatures exceeding 40 Celsius in many parts of Europe, people are heading for swimming pools and ‘cooling centres’.
In a grand gesture to reinforce the need to keep cool in Europe’s searing heatwave, Austrian news anchor Armin Wolf poured a bottle of water over his head while on air.
The country is one of several in Europe seeing temperatures in the high 30s Celsius.
Monday, 10 July, was the hottest day so far this year in Austria. A new study showed that there were 419 heat-related deaths in the country last year – more fatalities than in traffic accidents.
It has sent people flocking to special ‘cooling centres’, set up by local authorities.
In Spain, forecasters say the heat may have peaked, passing 40 degrees Celsius in places. Zaragoza, Teruel, Granada and Albacete are on red alert and could break temperature records.
To provide some relief, taking a swim in local swimming pools in Zaragoza now costs 40 per cent less than usual.
One woman explained: “We are going to spend the day here because we can’t stay at home, even if everything is closed, and even less in the street.”
There have been similar conditions in France, where many cities have sweltered for several days. Lyon has seen the highest temperatures at 42 Celsius.
However, heavy storms are expected to cool things down for the rest of the week.