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6/26/2007

Europe hit by killer heatwave and floods

Breaking Earth News Update
European Continent

A searing heatwave has killed at least 44 people across southern Europe while in Britain torrential rain claimed three lives and forced hundreds to flee a creaking dam.

Twenty-nine deaths have been blamed on the heat in Romania where temperatures on Tuesday hit 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit), four in Greece, three each in Italy and Albania and at least five in Bosnia, Croatia and Turkey.

Bucharest was Europe's hottest capital on Tuesday with temperatures at 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) but a heat alert was sounded for much of the south of the country.

Ambulance services were besieged with calls to help people fainting in the street, officials said. Fourteen people have died from the heat in the city over the past week, according to authorities who have set up more than 30 first aid tents in Bucharest alone to cope with the casualties.

Police have been handing out water in the street and the health ministry has warned the elderly and those with debilitating illnesses not to go out during the day.
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