Red alerts for Portugal, Spain amid 'extreme heat'

Weather forecast latest

It is being reported that at least three people have died due to heatstroke in Spain following several days of record-breaking heat.

A middle-aged man in Barcelona, whom the media said appeared to be homeless, was found collapsed on a street on Friday and taken to hospital where he later died of heatstroke, Catalonia's civil protection agency said in a statement.

The day's hottest temperature of 46.8C (116.2F) was recorded at Alvega in the centre of Portugal.

Parts of Portugal have already recorded temperatures of around 47C, while parts of Spain have reached 44C before the worst of the heatwave has even arrived.

While warm temperatures are expected for this time of year, the latest heatwave could see the mercury soar to record levels this week.

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Forecasters at the UK Met Office have said temperatures in the Iberian Peninsula this weekend "could beat the all-time continental European record of 48C", which is a little over 118 degrees Fahrenheit, before the mercury starts to dip.

That wasn't the case for a wildfire in San Vicente de Alcantara in the southwest on the border with Portugal, where strong winds and high temperatures were fanning the flames, the regional environment and rural affairs department said.

A spokesperson from the Met Office said: "The intensity and duration of the heat will likely have impacts of vulnerable populations, as well as tourists who may not be acclimatised to such high temperatures".

In southern Portugal, the town of Evora was nearly at a standstill Saturday as only a few foreign tourists dared to venture out to take photographs of the Roman ruins called Diana's Temple.

The ties between heat waves and climate change are robust, with climate scientists already tying the Scandinavian and United Kingdom heat waves to climate change.

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Fires raged through a coastal town in Greece in July leaving more than 91 people dead and some affected families are now filing a lawsuit against the Greek authorities.

Lisbon's temperature reached 43 degrees Celsius. Two people were injured and six homes damaged in a separate forest fire near Madrid on Friday, they said.

In Germany, state rail operator Deutsche Bahn said it was offering free water to passengers in case of delays.

Mountain railways in Switzerland have reported booming business as city dwellers flee to the Alps. In Sweden July was a record month and wildfires burnt in parts of the country.

Sweden and Poland have warned against swimming in the Baltic Sea due to a huge bloom of toxic algae caused by hot temperatures.

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