Canary Island is affected by a forest fire as the continent prepares for its warmest temperatures ever.
As Europe continues to face severe temperatures from the Cerberus heatwave, more than 4,000 people have been forced to flee their homes on the Canary island of La Palma after a forest fire spread through the north-west of the island.
With 4,500 hectares of land and 12 dwellings already damaged in Palma, the regional administration on Sunday officially alerted neighboring islands Tenerife and Gran Granaria to the possibility of forest fires.
According to Fernando Clavijo, head of the regional government for the Canary Islands, “the fire advanced very quickly.” He cited “the wind, the climate conditions, as well as the heatwave that we are living through” as the causes of the fire’s rapid development.
The fire comes amid a week of potentially record-breaking heat in southern Europe, which has been dubbed Charon after the Greek mythological boatman who transports souls to the underworld (48.8C reported in Sicily in August 2021).
Rome, Bologna, and Florence are among the more than 15 Italian towns that have been put on alert due to Tuesday’s expected temperature increases of up to 47°C in Sardinia and 43°C in Rome.
In order to save visitors from sweltering temperatures, the risk of dehydration, and sunstroke, the Acropolis in Greece has been temporarily closed from 11.30 am to 5.30 pm.
According to the European Space Agency, Floridia, an Italian town in the Sicilian province of Syracuse, reported a temperature of 48.8°C on August 11, 2021, breaking the previous record for the highest temperature in Europe. However, it was noted that the “hottest temperatures ever recorded in Europe” could possibly occur next week.
According to the agency, the ground’s surface temperature, which measures how hot it feels to the touch, reached more than 50C on Sicily’s eastern slopes last week, 45C in Rome and Naples, and 46C and 47C in Madrid and Seville.
The record-breaking global temperatures in June and early July are followed by the high temperatures in Europe. Approximately 0.5°C above the average for the period of 1991 to 2020, June 2023 saw extraordinary sea temperatures and record-low Antarctic sea ice, according to a report from the Copernicus Climate Change Service.
The World Meteorological Organization reported on Monday that the first few days of July saw the planet’s warmest few days on record.
According to the meteorological office, Morocco was expected to have above-average temperatures this weekend, with highs of 47C in several provinces – more appropriate for August than July – raising worries about water shortages.