- Title: GREECE: Greece bakes in the first heatwave of the year
- Date: 17th June 2010
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (JUNE 16 2010) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING ON ATHENS STREET WITH SUN UMBRELLAS AND HATS ANOTHER WOMAN WALKING WITH AN UMBRELLA OVER HER HEAD TOURISTS WETTING THEMSELVES DOWN FROM WATER FROM A FOUNTAIN PIGEON DUNKING INTO WATER FOUNTAIN PEOPLE SITTING UNDER TREES IN THE SHADE TWO TOURISTS SITTING IN THE SHADE WEARING HATS ANOTHER TWO TOURISTS SITTING ON THE GRASS UNDER A TREE IN PARK (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST GEMMA MARSHALL FROM LONDON, ENGLAND, SAYING: "It's very very very hot, that is why we are in the shade now, we have been out since nine and that was just bearable, but now its too hot. Too hot for us, anyway." MAN SELLING SUN UMBRELLAS ON THE STREET YOUNG MAN DRINKING WATER WOMAN COVERING HER HEAD FROM SUN WITH A BAG TOURISTS DIPPING THEIR HANDS IN A FOUNTAIN (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST HEATHER SHANNON FROM BOSTON, U.S.A., SAYING: "Because I am on holiday it's pleasant otherwise it would be disgusting." THERMOMETER AT CENTRAL ATHENS SQUARE SHOWING 43 DEGREES CELSIUS AT 14:36 LOCAL TIME MORE OF PEOPLE WEARING HATS, CARRYING UMBRELLAS, WEARING WRAPS, AND HOLDING BOTTLES FROM THE SUN PEOPLE WALKING IN THE SHADE OF STREET WOMAN SITTING NEXT TO A FOUNTAIN WITH HAT ON HUMIDITY FROM CAR EXHAUST FUMES IN THE AIR FROM TRAFFIC
- Embargoed: 2nd July 2010 13:00
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Reuters ID: LVA86AP6XLQBE426TZ974G628CSD
- Story Text: Greece has been hit early with its first brief heatwave of the summer as temperatures surpassed 40 degrees celsius across the country.
In cities around Greece on Wednesday (June 16) temperatures surpassed 40 degrees celsius as the country experienced its first heatwave of the season.
In central Athens thermometers reached as much as 43 degrees celsius, the choking hot air and pollution exacerbating the sticky atmosphere. The environment ministry sent a warning to citizens with respiratory problems to take caution due to the rise in pollution levels from the heat.
Meterologists said cities on the Peloponnese peninsula, such as Argos, recorded at least 40 degrees and were expected to reach 41 degrees, while towns in northern Greece were also expected to surpass 40 degrees celsius.
It is the first early heatwave of the year for the country, said meteorologists, which peaked on Wednesday and is expected to last until Friday.
The Greek Meteorological Agency said the temperatures were unusually high for the month, although a historical record was reached three years ago, when temperatures had reached a record level of 44 degrees celsius at the end of June.
Fire brigades were on alert in the case of forest fires, which plague the country every year during heatwaves.
In the capital humidity could be seen fuming off the congested streets and breathing was difficult as a hot wind blew. People took refuge under the shade of trees and under umbrellas. Even tourists found it too hot.
"It's very very very hot, that is why we are in the shade now, we have been out since nine and that was just bearable, but now its too hot. Too hot for us, anyway," said British tourist Gemma Marshall from London, sitting in the shade of a tree.
"Because I am on holiday it's pleasant otherwise it would be disgusting," said American tourist Heather Shannon from Boston.
Over the last decade summer temperatures in Greece have been rising, reaching as high as 46 degrees celsius, considered record levels and not only in the usual hottest summer month of August but during the earlier months, in a country where the average is about 37 degrees celsius.
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