The UK High Quality Royal Ascot Racecourse also saw a rare change in protocol: guests were allowed to take off their hats and jackets as soon as the royals passed.
“Avoid overexposure to the sun, hydrate and take care of the most vulnerable so they do not suffer from heat stroke,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez advised about desertification during an event in Madrid.
A farm lobby said parts of northern Italy would lose half of their agricultural production due to the drought, endangering irrigation as lakes and rivers begin to run dangerously.
The Federation of Italian Utility Companies, Utilitalia, this week warned that the country’s longest river, the Po, has been experiencing the worst drought in 70 years, causing many parts of the vast, northern waterway to dry up completely.
The heat wave has put pressure on energy systems as demand for air conditioning risks raising prices and increasing the challenge of creating stocks to protect Russia from further cuts in gas supplies.
In France, the Gironde Department around Bordeaux has banned public performances, including concerts and indoor venues without air conditioning, a local official said.
“Everyone is at risk of health problems now,” Gironde Prefect Fabien Pucio told France Blue Radio.
Temperatures in many parts of France have reached 40 degrees Celsius since Thursday this year and are expected to peak on Saturday, rising to 41-42 degrees Celsius. The record night temperature for June was 26.8 degrees Celsius in Tarascon, in southern France.
Fourteen administrative departments were on red alert and school children were advised to stay home in these areas. Speed limits were reduced in many areas around Paris to control exhaust emissions and create harmful fumes.
Friday was the hottest day of the year in Britain, with temperatures hovering above 32 degrees Celsius in some parts of the southeast.
Parks, pools and beaches were packed, and after two years of epidemic control many enjoyed a day of fun and freedom, some worried.
“I’m from Cyprus, and now it’s raining in Cyprus … I’m boiling here, so something needs to change. Student Charlie Uxel visits Brighton, south of London.
“We enjoy it now, but in the long run we can sacrifice.”
Mediterranean countries are increasingly concerned about how climate change will affect their economies and livelihoods.
“The Iberian Peninsula is increasingly arid, and the flow of our rivers is slower and slower,” said Sanchez, the Spanish leader.
Firefighters are engaged in putting out wildfires in many parts of Spain, with Catalonia in eastern Spain and Zamora near the western border of Portugal being the worst affected.
In Zamora, 8,500 to 9,500 hectares turned to ash.
A cloud of hot air left Portugal on Friday, where temperatures were not as high as in other European countries, with Lisbon likely to reach 27 degrees Celsius.
However, the Portuguese meteorological agency IPMA reported that May was the hottest month in the last 92 years. It warned that most areas were affected by the severe drought.
Portugal’s reservoirs have low water levels, with the most affected, the Broura Dam, only 15% full.
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