The Acropolis of Athens will be closed to the public for several hours on Friday as a severe heatwave bites Greece with temperatures over 41 degrees Celsius.
As announced by the Culture Ministry, the Acropolis will operate on reduced hours and will be closed from 12 noon until 5 in the afternoon.
Lots of tourists used parasols and fans, and some used guidebooks to provide shelter from the relentless sun. The Hellenic Red Cross has put up big shade tents to protect the crowds and is handing out thousands of free bottles of water.
A tourist visiting the Acropolis collapsed from heat exposure. She was transferred to a local hospital for treatment.
🙏Αστυνομικοί της Ομάδας ΔΙ.ΑΣ. και διασώστες του ΕΚΑΒ παρείχαν βοήθεια σε τουρίστρια, λόγω καύσωνα, στην Ακρόπολη. pic.twitter.com/2MdKaJu96Q
— Ελληνική Αστυνομία (@hellenicpolice) July 14, 2023
The archaeological sites of Ancient Agora and the Kerameikos will remain in operation, where it is possible to visit the Archaeological Museums there, the ministry reportedly added.
Temperatures in Athens are forecast to reach up to 41-43C, on Saturday, July 15, 2023, so similar measures may apply too.
Greece is on high alert for the heatwave
Greece’s state mechanism has been placed on high alert to deal with a heatwave dubbed Kleon which is expected to push temperatures up to 43C (109F) in some parts of the country.
The state apparatus is fully prepared, with more equipment and personnel at the disposal of civil defense services to deal with any needs arising as a result of the current heatwave, government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis said on Thursday, during the daily press briefing.
The Health Ministry has noted that the elderly, infants and young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people who are overweight or obese, as well as people who work or exercise intensively in hot environments are at greatest risk.
Precautions are also advised for people with chronic illnesses (cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, lung disease, kidney disease, liver disease, mental illness, dementia, alcoholism or drug abuse etc) and patients suffering from other medical conditions.
Heatwaves in Greece
Greece has experienced an average of 0.7 heatwaves per year from 1950 to 2020, but this average value has increased to 1.1 heatwaves per year from 1990 to 2020, according to a recent study.
The study published in the international scientific journal “Climate” says that there is a generally increasing trend in all characteristics of heat waves, including intensity, duration, and frequency of occurrence during the period 1950-2020.
The areas of Greece that experience at least one heat wave per year have almost doubled since 1990.