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New record: There are records of 49.5ºC and heat is here to stay

The record temperature was recorded last Tuesday in the province of Eskisehir, in central Anatolia, wrote the Minister of the Environment, Mehmet Ozhaseki, on the social network X, formerly known as Twitter.

This temperature surpasses the previous record, set on July 20, 2021, when the temperature reached 49.1ºC of heat in Cizre, Şırnak, in the southeast of the country.

The ministry has warned Turks to stay indoors as much as possible, especially during the hottest hours of the day, from 11 am to 4 pm, at a time when the heat wave continues to trigger forest fires across the country. country.

Turkey’s national meteorological service warned on Wednesday that the heat wave will continue to exceed normal seasonal temperatures by up to 11°C. The main reason behind the heat records is climate change, according to Baris Onol, professor of meteorology at Istanbul Technical University. “Turkey will be much more exposed to high temperatures in the next 30 to 40 years, like the rest of the Mediterranean region,” Onol said.

Europe ravaged by fires

Firefighters today were battling strong winds trying to fight a huge forest fire blazing out of control in southeastern Spain as another in the north was stabilised. Both fires broke out late on August 13, with more than 350 firefighters engaged in battling the wildfire in the northern Aragon region that has so far burnt through an area of 6,000 hectares forcing at least 1,500 people from their homes. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP)

The heat did not stay in Turkey, having affected a large part of Europe. In Italy, most of the country saw temperatures exceed 40ºC, with Sicily reaching 48ºC in mid-July. The country was grappling with several fires and thousands of people had to be evacuated from the Palermo region.

Greece has also been hit hard by forest fires, notably on the islands of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea (southeast), Corfu in the Ionian Sea (northwest) and Euboea, a large island east of Athens. On these well-known tourist islands, thousands of people had to be evacuated in an unprecedented operation. The country reached 46.4ºC at the end of the month.

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