- Title: VARIOUS: WEATHER: Heatwave in continental Europe; floods in Britain
- Date: 21st July 2007
- Summary: (EU) OPATIJA, CROATIA (JULY 20, 2007) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SUNBATHING AND SWIMMING ON BEACH
- Embargoed: 5th August 2007 13:00
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVACP6UI68U2MSQ7O6BOG15P7978
- Story Text: Two people died in Romania on Friday (July 20) as temperatures reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), raising this week's death toll to seven.
Meteorologists said scorching temperatures of up to 42 degrees might last until July 22. Authorities reported a record number of ambulance calls, with more than 1,000 requests in the last 24 hours in Bucharest, the capital of two million people.
A previous two-week heatwave in June claimed the lives of 30 people, burned thousands of hectares of farmland and plunged the country's cereal crop to a four-year record low.
Open-air pools throughout the capital will be opened 24 hours a day and water fountains will function continuously. The health ministry opened a toll free line for heat-related advice.
And extremely high temperatures also continued in the Western Balkan region on Friday, reaching the highest levels in more than 50 years.
In the Serbian capital Belgrade, citizens were scrambling for water from trucks the authorities sent to the streets as the mercury hit 41 degrees celsius.
In Sarajevo, foreign visitors who've been returning in ever greater numbers to the town since the war ended, tried desperately to keep cool.
And local residents were sympathetic. Ismet Hadzihasanagic, a 75-year-old shopkeeper in the historic old town, said he had not experienced weather like it and younger people than him were falling ill. "It seems God is watching over me, no?," he said.
In Croatia, roads leading to the Adriatic coast were congested on Friday as thousands flocked to the sea for what could be the hottest weekend in Croatia in the past 60 years. Beaches were full everywhere, but even the sea temperature in some places climbed to a record high 30 degrees.
But in Britain torrential rain caused flash floods and brought transport chaos on Friday as severe weather warnings were issued for vast swathes of the country. Forecasters said the downpours could dump up to four inches of rain in less than 24 hours, with central and southern England and Wales the worst affected.
Officials warned that roads would become treacherous while numerous train services were hit by delays and cancellations. It's also the start of the school holidays weekend.
Last month was the wettest June since records began in 1914 and July has seen no let-up.
Floods have damaged nearly 30,000 homes and 7,000 businesses. Insurers think the clean-up bill will top 1.5 billion pounds.
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