- Title: VARIOUS: Humans and animals seek relief from heat in cities acrosss Europe
- Date: 21st August 2009
- Summary: VARIOUS PEOPLE SWIMMING IN SERPENTINE LAKE IN HYDE PARK GIRL DUNKING HERSELF UNDER WATER (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACK, LIFE GUARD, SERPENTINE LAKE IN HYDE PARK, SAYING "It's been a pretty rubbish summer overall. This is sort of first day in ages when it's been 30 degrees. It's definitely going to be 30 degrees. It's probably been the best day so far this year." PEOPLE SWIMMING
- Embargoed: 5th September 2009 13:00
- Topics: Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA1QBMI9Z18QJU3ZEZNO76P2QPD
- Story Text: French authorities issued warnings on Wednesday (August 19) as the South of France is hit by a heat wave.
In Lyon, temperatures reached 39Â° Celsius (102Â° Fahrenheit) on Wednesday. Local residents tried keep cool next to the city's fountains.
Authorities issued an "orange warning" asking people to drink, stay in cool places and to bathe themselves regularly.
In 2003, nearly 15000 people, mostly elderly people, died in France because of extreme temperatures over a period of two weeks. That year in Lyon, temperatures rose to 43Â° Celsius (109Â° Fahrenheit).
But local residents seem to know how to cope with the heat:
"I don't come out to much in the centre, I close all my shutters at home, I drink lots and spray myself with water and stay in the shade" said Diane Dumond who was having a drink with her friends in the centre of Lyon.
In Paris, tourists were also coping with the heat by using the capital's fountains to cool down.
"We had one of the best picnics this year, just at the foot of the Eiffel tower, the feet in the water, it's great to make the most out of this sun because we've not had very good weather so far this year, so we came to find good weather in Paris." said Alain Lacroix, a French tourist from the town of Laval who was spending the week in Paris with his family.
The heat-wave warning is to continue for 24 extra hours across the South East of France.
In central London temperatures reached 30 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, one of the hottest days in the capital this summer.
The sudden burst of late-summer sun in the capital after a damp summer was welcomed by busy Londoners who flooded the city's parks and squares in the mid-day lunch break.
"We have to make the most of it because we don't get the sun that often in London," said Jo who chose to get out of the office for an hour for her lunch break.
Some enjoyed the sun by the cooling waters of the Serpentine lake in the Hyde Park.
"It's been a pretty rubbish summer overall. This is sort of first day in ages when it's been 30 degrees. It's definitely going to be 30 degrees. It's probably been the best day so far this year," said Jack, a life guard at the swimming area in the Serpantine Lake of London's Hyde Park.
But the heat is expected to break. By Thursday (August 20) temperatures in London are expected to be back to the low 20s as a cool front moves in from the West. That will be a relief for the gorillas in London zoo, whose keepers provided them with iced tea to help cope with the heat.
In April the UK Met Office forecast that the country was "odds-on for a barbecue summer". But the summer has been a washout for large parts of the country, with higher-than-average rainfall in July.
The Dog Days of summer hit Rome as temperatures soared toward 40 degrees Celsius, but for the city's canines salvation was at hand in the form of its first doggy swimming pool.
While tourists and Rome residents who stuck out the sizzling summer temperates devoured ice-creams or splashed in the city's historic fountains to keep cool, pet lovers accompanied their dogs to "Bau Beach" by the banks of the river Tiber.
"This is a paradise, especially for dogs but for the owners too," said Massimo Lupo, as his pet splashed around in the 50-metre (yard) long pool, surrounded by grass and trees.
The organiser of Bau Beach, Pierpaolo Azzone, said animals were provided with water and bins of food, but owners had to remain with their pets at all times. Before being turned into Rome's first doggy pool, the area was a disused sports facility.
Summer heatwaves can be detrimental to dogs' health as they have a higher internal temperature than humans and can get hot very quickly. Unlike humans, who have sweat glands all over their bodies, dogs have glands only between the pads of their feet and also pant to remain cool.
For some owners, keeping Fido happy was their top priority during the traditional mid-August holiday in Rome. Open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Bau Beach has notched up more than 3,000 dogs registered in its first month.
The Dog Days of summer, or caniculae dies, was the term used by ancient Romans to refer to the hottest days of the year falling between early-July and late-August, presaged by the rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, just before the sun.
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