Friday’s temperatures proved oppressive for Europeans as the mercury rose to break records across the continent where natives are not so much in the habit of tolerating overbearing heat. Reuters reported that France registered its highest-ever temperature today as the record-setting heat wave has baked much of Europe. The report said mercury hit 44.3 degrees Celsius (111.8 Fahrenheit) in Carpentras, in the southerly Provence region, surpassing the previous high of 44.1 degrees Celsius which was recorded in August, 2003.
Four administrative departments in France have been placed on red alert, signalling temperatures of “dangerous intensity”. Temperatures in parts of Spain are also expected to hit a new record of 43°C Friday.
This summer’s intense heat waves have caused raging wildfires across the Catalonian region in Spain. Reuters reported that Spanish firefighters have struggled to douse wildfires across a swathe of land that measures around 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) in the northeastern region of Catalonia. They warned that the affected area could increase as much as fivefold because of the fierce heat and winds.