Global heatwave live news: Extreme weather affects millions
- Europe could record its hottest-ever temperature this week on Italy’s islands of Sicily and Sardinia, where a high of 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) is predicted.
- Authorities in Japan issued heatstroke alerts for tens of millions of people in 20 of its 47 prefectures.
- The US National Weather Service has warned a “widespread and oppressive” heatwave in southern and western states is expected to peak as wildfires rage in southern California.
- In India, torrential downpours have killed at least 90 people, following burning heat.
- In South Korea, heavy rain for the last four days triggered floods and landslides that killed at least 37 people and left nine missing.
Displacement camps in Syria lack cooling options to deal with heatwave
Warm weather affecting displaced people living in camps in northwest Syria has exacerbated the suffering of those living in tents, which lack cooling mechanisms and are made of nylon fabric that intensifies the reflected heat.
Hazem al-Hajji, a 30-year-old living in one of the camps near the Syrian-Turkish border, told Al Jazeera, “Our children endure more than they can bear. As soon as the freezing cold of winter is gone, they are struck by the scorching summer that exhausts their frail bodies”.
The high temperatures have led many people in the region to seek public pools, considered safer than other bodies of water.
Temperatures ease in Greece but heatwave expected on Thursday
As temperatures eased on Monday, Greece was offered a brief respite from the extreme heat that has engulfed the country over the past week.
The Acropolis in Athens resumed its regular opening hours after closing for three days during the hottest time of the day.
However, a new heatwave is expected from Thursday, and meteorologists warned of a heightened risk of wildfires amid strengthening winds from the Aegean Sea.
‘Temperature records may be broken’: WMO
What is the highest temperature ever recorded?
Currently, the highest officially registered temperature is 56.7C (134F), recorded in California’s Death Valley back in 1913.
The hottest known temperature in Africa is 55C (131F), recorded in Kebili, Tunisia in 1931. Iran holds the record for Asia’s hottest official temperature of 54C (129F), recorded in 2017.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was 48.8C (119.8F) on the Italian island of Sicily on August 11, 2021. On July 19, 2022, The United Kingdom recorded its highest-ever temperature, reaching 40.2C (104.4F), according to its Meteorological Office.
Turkey grapples with wildfires across three provinces
Turkish fire crews have been grappling on Monday to contain wildfires in at least three provinces, including Hatay in the south, which was hit by February’s devastating earthquakes.
A total of 19 separate wildfires broke across the country over the weekend, with no deaths reported so far. Some locals were briefly hospitalized, state news agency Anadolu reported.
Like in southern Europe, Turkey has been struggling with a heatwave.
Authorities have warned against the risk of forest fires.
New heatwave in Spain expected to last until Wednesday
Spain looks set to face more extreme heat, with the meteorological agency warning of a new heatwave from Monday to Wednesday, taking temperatures above 40C (104F) in the Canary Islands and the southern Andalusia region.
On La Palma island, which endured a volcanic eruption in 2021, a fire burned 5,000 hectares (12,360 acres) this weekend, forcing the evacuation of 4,000 people.
China records highest ever temperature
Temperatures at Sanbao township in Xinjiang’s Turpan Depression in China’s arid northwest rose to 52C (126F) on Sunday, state media reported.
This broke China’s previous record of 50.3C (122F), measured in 2015 near Ayding in the depression, a vast basin of sand dunes and dried-up lakes more than 150 meters (492 feet) below sea level.
Prolonged bouts of high temperatures in China have challenged power grids and crops, and concerns are mounting of a possible repeat of last year’s drought, the most severe in 60 years.
Floods hit India, South Korea and Japan
In South Korea, rescuers on Sunday battled to reach people trapped in a flooded tunnel after heavy rains for four days triggered floods and landslides that killed at least 37 people and left nine missing.
The country is at the peak of its summer monsoon season, with more rain forecast through to Wednesday.
In northern Japan on Sunday, a man was found dead in a flooded car, a week after seven people were killed in similar weather in the country’s southwest.
In India, torrential downpours have killed at least 90 people, following burning heat.
Flooding and landslides are common during India’s monsoon season, but experts say climate change is increasing the frequency and severity.
US braces for ‘widespread and oppressive’ heat
The US National Weather Service has warned a “widespread and oppressive” heatwave in southern and western states is expected to peak, with more than 80 million people affected by excessive heat warnings or heat advisories on Sunday.
California’s Death Valley, often among the hottest places on Earth, reached a near-record 52C (126F) Sunday afternoon.
Southern California is fighting numerous wildfires, including one in Riverside County that has burned more than 7,500 acres (3,000 hectares) and prompted evacuation orders.
Heatstroke alerts issued in Japan
Authorities in Japan have issued heatstroke alerts for tens of millions of people in 20 of its 47 prefectures.
Japan’s highest temperature ever – a record 41.1C (106F), in Kumagaya city, Saitama, in 2018 – could be beaten, according to the country’s meteorological agency.
Some places experienced their highest temperatures in more than four decades on Sunday, including Hirono town in Fukushima prefecture, which hit 37.3C (99.1F).
Record-breaking temperatures expected in Italy
Europe could record its hottest-ever temperature this week on Italy’s islands of Sicily and Sardinia, where a high of 48C (118F) is predicted.
Predictions of historic high temperatures in the coming days led the health ministry to sound a red alert for 16 cities, including Rome, Bologna and Florence.
Temperatures are likely to hit 40C (104F) in Rome by Monday and 42C-43C (108-109F) on Tuesday, smashing the record of 40.5C (105F) set in August 2007.