Greece has recently been experiencing one of the worst heatwaves in the country’s recent history, and authorities remain on high alert to tackle any issues that might crop up due to weather disruptions.
The sweltering heat from Monday until Wednesday will be exceptionally difficult all over the country, making the possibility of wildfires a real threat for the entire country.
The worst of this heatwave is yet to come
The longstanding, blisteringly hot weather is expected to peak this week, as hot air masses moving up from Africa send temperatures soaring across southern Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus.
The highest temperatures on Monday and Tuesday will reach 43 to 45 degrees Celsius (109-113 degrees Fahrenheit) in many parts of the country and will rise as high as 46-47 degrees Celcius (117 degrees Fahrenheit) in some especially heat-prone areas of the country, particularly in the regions of Thessaly and Sterea.
The low temperatures during the night will also remain high, especially in urban areas, increasing the discomfort in the population, as it will be difficult to sleep.
The extraordinarily hot weather that began to prevail in Greece last week is expected to continue until Thursday, after which cooler temperatures will make the situation much more bearable.
EUMETNET, the European National Meteorological Services’ network, placed almost the entirety of Greece into the highest level of alert for Monday, August 2.
Authorities in Greece advise extreme caution
Civil Protection authorities in Greece have already warned of the high risk the heat wave poses to the population, advising extreme caution to every citizen.
Greek authorities also worry about the risk of power outages due to excessive consumption. Thus, they are urging the public to restrict the use of electrical devices at peak times, from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM and 6:00 until 10:00 PM local time.
“Conditions for the electricity system are unprecedented, as consumption over the coming days is expected to reach peak levels due to the very high temperatures. For this reason, coordination of the various bodies of electricity producers at the highest level is essential to ensure the uninterrupted supply to consumers during the extreme phenomenon,” the Greek Energy Ministry stated over the weekend.
Advice to the public, especially the very young, very old, and those in vulnerable groups, is to take measures to protect themselves from the heat, use fans or air-conditioning to keep cool, avoid physical exercise outdoors, sunbathing and rich foods and eat light meals of fruit and vegetables.
Showers with lukewarm water, cold compresses on the head and neck and freezing gel-pack neckscarves can be used to keep the public cool as well.
People are also advised to drink large amounts of water and fruit juices, to avoid alcohol, to wear a hat and sunglasses and light-colored loose clothing made of natural fabrics when going outdoors.
For small babies, it is advised that they be given additional fluids, apart from milk.
Authorities in Greece also warn everyone that elderly relatives should not be left alone for extended periods of time.
The risk of fires is extremely high for all regions in Greece, with the public strictly advised to avoid all activities that might lead to an accidental fires, such as burning plant waste, holding barbecues, or using machinery that generates sparks.
Anyone spotting smoke or a fire can call either the European emergency number 112 or the Greek fire brigade at 199.