July 19, 2007
Skopje_ Macedonia, suffering a heat wave that is expected to get still worse, declared a state of emergency on Thursday as forest fires raged across the country.
"A total of 217 fires have been registered so far. Roughly 2,500 hectares, which is mainly forests, have been burned," he said.
Meteorologists from the Hydro-Meteorology Directorate warned that temperatures as high as 43 degrees Celsius were still to come in the next few days.
The country’s south was expected to suffer temperatures as high as 44 degrees over the weekend, while temperatures in the capital Skopje were expected to be two degrees lower.The Macedonian Red Cross has already put emergency intervention health teams on standby, while the State Institute for Health issued a warning to stay out of the sun.
HUNGARY - As the sun continues to beat down on Hungary and temperatures hover around the 40 degree Celsius mark, the National Medical Officer's Service announced on Thursday that a health warning would remain in effect until next Tuesday. The environment ministry has warned of dust and ozone levels due to high temperatures, little wind, and heavy traffic. Budapest's Mayor told a news conference on Thursday the city would never again try to save money by buying buses or trams that were not air-conditioned. Farmers have reported weather problems. Their crops are baking in the heat. The harvest is on two million hectares and involves six million tonnes of crops and 70,000-75,000 people. Farmers have reported fruit crops drying on trees and maize that is so dry it is going straight into silos.
Hungary on Wednesday saw temperatures EXCEED THE PREVIOUS NATIONAL RECORD of 38 degrees centigrade recorded in 1904. The temperature reached 38.3 degrees in certain regions as the country continued to swelter in the heat wave.
GREECE - It will get even warmer across Greece over the next few days as the country heads into its second heat wave this summer, but experts said that temperatures are unlikely to reach 46 Celsius (115 Fahrenheit). Temperatures in Athens are expected to reach 37C (99F), with a further increase early next week. The anticipated heat wave is likely to peak on Tuesday. �From our estimates it looks as though we will not have temperatures as high as 46C, as in June. But it will still be a fairly strong heat wave, as on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we are expecting temperatures to rise to 42C (108F).�