Normally I wouldn’t send you another piece of news so soon after my last post but this article was simply too compelling and extreme for me to wait.
All I can say is read the whole thing. It is horrifying. And it’s coming to your city or town eventually. Especially if you are in Phoenix, LA, Las Vegas, Atlanta or Maimi. Bear in mind, this is TODAY: literally. Imagine what this will be like in 10 or 20 years. That’s why several of the democratic candidates the last two nights have put climate crisis on the top of their lists of priorities. People around the world, except the Republican party, are finally getting the seriousness of this danger.
A major wildfire raged today in Spain and several people have died around the continent, which authorities are linking to the extreme weather.
Many countries have reported record temperatures this week, and France hit its all-time heat record today: 44.3 degrees Celsius, or 111 degrees Fahrenheit, in the southern town of Carpentras, according to French media.
The French national weather service activated its highest-level heat danger alert for the first time, putting four regions around Marseille and Montpellier in the south of the country under special watch.
Those schools that stayed open worked to keep kids cool. Teachers at the Victor Hugo Primary School in Colombes near Paris abandoned suffocating classrooms and are keeping children outside all day, spraying them with water and organizing quiet activities in the shade.
“I make them go in the playground with books, in the shade, they must stay seated,” said teacher Valerie Prevost. “We tell them to dampen their caps, to drink regularly.”
About 4,000 schools closed because they couldn’t ensure safe conditions, and local authorities canceled many end-of-school-year carnivals.
Some criticized the government for going overboard, but Prime Minister Édouard Philippe defended the efforts after 15,000 people died in a heat wave in 2003 that woke France up to the risks.
“This heat wave is exceptional by its intensity and its earliness,” he told reporters.
“Measures have been taken for the most vulnerable people,” he said. “But given the intensity of the heat wave, it’s the entire population who must be careful today … both for oneself and for loved ones and neighbors.”
Italy put 16 cities under alerts for high temperatures, and civil security services distributed water to tourists visiting famed sites around Rome under a scorching sun.
Heat was blamed for the deaths of two people in Spain, private news agency Europa Press reported today. An 80-year-old man collapsed and died in the street in Valladolid in northwest Spain, the agency said, and a 17-year-old boy died in the southern city of Córdoba after diving into a swimming pool and losing consciousness.
Four people have drowned so far in France this week, and a 12-year-old girl drowned in a river near Manchester, England. France’s health minister and British police warned people to swim only in authorized areas.
France has also seen an uptick in so-called street pooling, or illegally opening fire hydrants. A 6-year-old child is in life-threatening condition after being hit by water shooting from a cracked-open fire hydrant in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, broadcaster France Info reported.
In Berlin, a police unit turned water cannons — usually used against rioters — on city trees to cool them down.
Meanwhile, more than 600 firefighters and six water-dropping aircraft were battling the worst fire in two decades in Spain’s Catalonia region, as the country is forecast to endure the peak of its heat wave today, with temperatures expected to exceed 104 F.
The blaze was sparked by a pile of chicken dung that spontaneously combusted in the heat (Greenwire, June 27).
— Angela Charlton, Associated Press. Barry Hatton in Lisbon, Portugal, Danica Kirka in London and Catherine Gaschka in Colombes, France, contributed.