- Title: Greece swelters as worst heatwave in decades tests grid, fries eggs
- Date: 2nd August 2021
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (AUGUST 2, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF HAZE OVER ATHENS, PARTHENON TEMPLE ON ACROPOLIS HILL, SEA IN BACKGROUND EMPTY PARTHENON TEMPLE, CLOSED TO VISITORS BECAUSE OF THE HEAT HEAT SHIMMERING OVER CITY VARIOUS OF HOT AIR SHIMMERING OVER CARS ON STREET VARIOUS OF ELECTRONIC THERMOMETER ON STREET READING 43 DEGREES CELSIUS PEOPLE SEATED OUTDOORS AT CAFE WHERE COLD MIST IS SPRAYED OVER CUSTOMERS COLD MIST PEOPLE SEATED AS COLD MIST IS SPRAYED OVER THEM OUTDOOR COOLING FAN AT CAFE VARIOUS OF GROUP OF MEN PLAYING BACKGAMMON AT CAFE BELOW COOLING FAN FAN PEOPLE WALKING ON STREET UNDERNEATH ACROPOLIS PARTHENON TEMPLE ON ACROPOLIS VARIOUS OF TOURISTS OUTSIDE CLOSED GATES OF ACROPOLIS WOMAN FANNING HERSELF VARIOUS OF TOURISTS LEAVING THE ACROPOLIS, WHICH CLOSED FOR FIVE HOURS DUE TO HEAT, ONE WOMAN WITH A PARASOL (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST RICARD PRATT, FROM SPAIN, SAYING: "The weather is terrible, it's very hot, very, very, special hot, and the Acropolis is beautiful, it's special." TOURISTS LEAVING ACROPOLIS (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST RICARD PRATT, FROM SPAIN, SAYING: "I come back in the wintertime, in the summer... (LAUGHING AND GESTURING)" (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST ELIZABETH COSCO, FROM TEXAS, U.S., SAYING: "It's horrible. We're from Houston, Texas, and this is hotter, this is hotter than Houston, Texas. This is horrendous, simply put." (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST GORDON TEAHY, FROM SCOTLAND, SAYING: "It's just very hot. I am not used to it. It's been a lovely day but very, very hot." MAN SITTING IN SHADE BY FOUNTAIN MAN SLEEPING ON PARK BENCH IN SHADE NEAR FOUNTAIN ANOTHER MAN SLEEPING ON PARK BENCH IN SHADE SPARROWS DRINKING WATER FROM FOUNTAIN AND FLYING AWAY WOMAN SHADING HERSELF WITH FAN PEOPLE WALKING BY FOUNTAIN IN SYNTAGMA SQUARE WOMAN LEANING AGAINST FOUNTAIN AND DABBING HERSELF WITH WATER VARIOUS OF ANOTHER WOMAN HOLDING A LITTLE GIRL OVER FOUNTAIN PEOPLE WALKING BY FOUNTAIN (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT, EVANGELOS MINOGLOU, A PENSIONER, SAYING: "It's the first time this has happened in many years, it had occurred once before, in 1987. We will overcome it, we will survive, I think." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) ATHENS RESIDENT ON HER WAY TO WORK, IRA KAZOU, SAYING: "It's very hard, we're not used to living with these temperatures. We are trying, drinking water, eating fruit, lots of liquids, loose clothes."
- Embargoed: 16th August 2021 15:30
- Keywords: Acropolis Greek heatwave Kyriakos Mitsotakis sea swimming traffic
- Location: ATHENS AND LARISSA, GREECE
- City: ATHENS AND LARISSA, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Environment,Europe,Weather,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001EOL8HMV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Temperatures soared across Greece on Monday (August 2) as the worst heatwave in decades pushed the power system to its limits and Greeks and tourists headed to fountains and beaches to cool down.
With the weather service forecasting temperatures in the capital as high as 44 Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) this week, energy authorities have warned that power demand will skyrocket, testing the capacity of an electricity grid already burdened by more than three million holiday-makers during the summer tourist season.
The Acropolis, Greece's most visited archaeological site, was shut before noon local time on Monday, to protect visitors from the heat as sweaty tourists made their way down from the marble steps.
"This is horrendous, simply put," tourist Elizabeth Cosco told Reuters as she left the monument. "It's horrible. We're from Houston, Texas, and this is hotter."
"It's just very hot. I am not used to it. It's been a lovely day but very, very hot," said Gordon Teahy, a tourist from Scotland, his face red, sitting in the shade of a tree outside the Acropolis' closed gates.
Authorities advised people to limit power usage at peak times in the afternoon and evening to prevent the electricity system collapsing, with households and businesses turning up air conditioners to seek relief from the brutal heat.
"We're dealing with the worst heatwave since 1987," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after attending a meeting at a power management centre and referring to a week-long heatwave when more than 1,000 people died. "Everything humanly possible has been done to secure the country's power supply. But we are also asking consumers to help us."
Beaches near Athens were packed with people seeking an escape from the heat.
But some Greeks, like Ira Kazou, who works in the tourism industry and won't have a single day off this month, still had to come into the city to work.
"It's very hard, we're not used to living with these temperatures," said Kazou.
In Larissa, a town in central Greece where the national weather service forecast 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) for midday, one man was able to cook two eggs outside with no other power source but the heat from the ground.
(Production: Stamos Prousalis, Paschalis Mantis, Phoebe Fronista)
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