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news 29 Jul 13

Heatwave Hits Balkan Countries

As Balkan countries roast in a heat wave with temperatures over 35 degrees, the authorities are warning people to take precautions.

BIRN team

Albania

Albania has been hit by a tropical heatwave this week, with the temperature hitting 37 degrees Celsius on Monday in Tirana.

According to meteorologists, the high temperatures will continue through to the weekend when the barometer is expected to read 38 degrees Celsius in the Albanian capital.

Health experts have advised the public to be particularly cautious and avoid extended exposure to the sun, which could have adverse effects on small children and the elderly.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

On Monday, the temperature is expected to reach a 2013 high of 42 degrees Celsius in some parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Citizens are advised, if they go out, to wear light clothes, protect their eyes and head and to eat light food and drink plenty of water.

Bulgaria

Four Bulgarian regions in north of the country - Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, and Pleven - have been put on a ‘Code Orange’ alert for dangerous heat as temperatures have risen to between 35 to 40 degrees Celsius.

Code Orange means intense weather situations which could potentially cause damage and injuries. People are advised to keep track of the weather conditions and avoid any potential risks.

The rest of the country is under Code Yellow with temperatures between 33 to 30 degrees Celsius, and 32 in the capital Sofia.

The Sofia water utility and Sofia City Hall are offering free bottled water to residents and visitors in an attempt to alleviate the effects of the scorching heat.

Croatia

The emergency services in Zagreb had to deal with 15 per cent more cases over the weekend due to with heat wave, and temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius on Monday too.

Among those who needed help were young people who collapsed in the street because they didn't protect themselves properly.

Medics have suggested that people should avoid going out between 10am and 5pm, and if they had to, they should protect themselves properly and drink a lot of water.

The highest tepmeratures in Croatia are in the eastern part of the country, and in the Dalmatian hinterland, where they reached almost 40 degrees Celsius over the last several days.

It is expected that the heat wave could last throughout this week, meteorologists have predicted.

Macedonia

Macedonia on Monday is marking its highest temperatures this summer.

The temperatures in some parts of the country are expected to rise up to 41 degrees Celsius and the UV index will be at all high 10. The capital Skopje is boiling at 38 degrees Celsius.
The Macedonian authorities advise caution, warning people to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially the elderly and the sick.

A slight drop in temperatures is expected from Wednesday onwards with a maximum expected 37 degrees Celsius. However, the warm and dry weather will continue all through the week.

Montenegro

In Montenegro's capital Podgorica, the temperatures over the last several days have exceeded 40 degrees. Weather forecasts say that the heatwave will continue this week as well.

Beaches on the coast during the weekend were crowded with people escaping the city heat. Those who couldn't afford to go to the seaside sought cooler spaces by rivers or stayed inside, leaving the streets of the capital empty.

Romania

Romania is also facing high temperatures. The south of the country is under Code Orange for heat on Monday and Tuesday with expected temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius.

Temperatures will also be high in the rest of the country during this period, and authorities have already called on people to take precautions such as drinking plenty of water and avoiding unnecessary exposure to the sun.

In many cities across the country, the authorities have also started to create help spots, providing water and first aid to those suffering from the heat.

Serbia

Monday was recorded the hottest day of the year in Serbia so far.

Belgrade and the town of Valjevo in western Serbia reported heat of 30 degrees Celsius on Monday at 9am, and temperatures are expected to rise as high as 42 degrees.

Meanwhile, the mountain resorts at Kopaonik and Sjenica will be cooler, with peak temperatures expected to be 24 and 27 degrees respectively.

As elsewhere, doctors are advising people to stay out of the sun, eat light food, and take plenty of fluids.

In Belgrade, the city water management company has trucks with drinking water placed in Republic Square, Zeleni Venac and Slavija.

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