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July 18 World Breaking News Summary

Spain, Portugal and Italy are on high alert as Europe battles a heat wave

A tourist sits and drinks a beer on the shores of Levante beach as a heat wave hits Spain on July 16, 2022 in Benidorm, Spain. (Photo: Zowy Voeten/Getty Images)

Authorities in Spain, Portugal and Italy are struggling to contain the current heat wave, while extreme temperatures blaze across the European continent this Monday.

Spanish government leader Pedro Sánchez said he wanted to share evidence that “climate change kills” as he visited the wildfire-ravaged region of Extremadura in western Spain on Monday.

“I want to share evidence that climate change is killing, it’s killing people as we’ve seen, it’s killing our ecosystem, it’s killing our biodiversity,” Sanchez said.

“It destroys our most valuable assets, the communities that are affected by these changes, their homes, their homes, their businesses, their livestock.”

Sanchez said that so far this year more than 70,000 hectares have been destroyed as a result of fires in our country.

According to Spain’s national meteorological agency AEMET, almost the entire country faces extreme fire risk, with many areas now classified as having “extreme” heat levels.

This Monday, Spain faced its eighth heat wave in more than a week, which has caused more than 510 heat-related deaths, according to the latest figures from the Carlos III Health Institute.

Spain is mourning the loss of firefighter Daniel Colón Vara, who was fighting a forest fire in Zamora province. During his visit to the region, Sanchez expressed his condolences and said Daniel represented “those who fight on the front lines of fire every day.”

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In Portugal, around 80 municipalities in 10 districts are at high risk of forest fires, particularly in the northeast of the country, according to the Portuguese Meteorological Service, Ocean and Atmospheric Agency (IPMA).

Nearly 1,000 firefighters, supported by around 300 vehicles and aircraft, have been deployed across the country to battle five major forest fires, the Portuguese Civil Protection Authority said in its latest update. There is currently a huge fire in Fundo in the district of Castelo Branco.

Last week in Portugal, July’s highest temperature dropped slightly. On this Monday, temperatures remained below 30ºC in most parts of the country.

Despite some respite, temperatures will rise again from Wednesday, reaching 40º C in some areas, IPMA predicted.

Water must be supplied to parts of Italy hit hardest by drought as the country declared a state of emergency earlier this month.

In areas near the Po River Valley, cities are cutting off water supplies at night, preventing residents from washing their cars and watering their gardens.

In Castenazzo, a small town near Bologna, the mayor’s order has banned hairdressers and barbers from double-washing their customers’ hair in an effort to save water before supplies run out.

In Italy’s financial center Milan, the mayor ordered all decorative fountains turned off and banned private vehicle washing or watering gardens and lawns.

In Rome, free entrances to swimming pools are granted to people over 70, according to the Rome City Council.