Heatwaves in West and South Europe

Heatwaves in West and South Europe

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In the end of June, Europe experienced one of the most intense heatwave in the meteorological recording history. Britain sustained its warmest June day since of 1976 and France suffered the hottest June night ever on the 21st century. Similarly, the Netherlands faced its hottest June on record while in Switzerland it was the second warmest month since 1864.

In Greece, temperatures were risen up to 45-46 degrees Celsius in the shadow across the country. To make matters worse, the heat index (the real feeling of the temperature) was a couple of degrees higher than the previous mentioned temperatures due to the increased humidity. In some cities, the thermometer was showing even 60 degrees Celsius under the sun.

According to World Weather Attribution (an international coalition of scientists that calculates the role of climate change in extreme weather events), human-caused climate change dramatically increased the likelihood of the extreme heatwave up to 10 times in many parts of Europe. Their study indicated that in countries like Spain, Portugal and France, climate change could be increasing the chances of extreme heat by up to 40 times.

beAWARE can play a vital role in the response of these extreme weather tendencies. Its early warning system regarding the upcoming phenomenon, combined with the coordination platform and cooperation mechanism between the different civil services and first responders, can provide significant assistance in taking the necessary measures in order to avoid past problems and address the heatwave more efficiently.

Sources: BBC, REUTERS, Kathimerini

Forest fires in Portugal

Forest fires in Portugal

News

Unfortunately, the extremely high temperatures were the causing factor behind the fires that hit the Iberian Peninsula, resulting severe human loses. In Portugal, 64 people died in huge forest fires, while in Spain 1,500 people were forced to evacuate by forest blazes caused by the extreme weather conditions.

In June 2017, Portugal faced one of the most tragic forest fires in its history. The fire in Pedrógão Grande ravaged 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of forest, killed 64 people and injured more than 250. Many of those who died were killed in their cars as they were trying to flee the flames.

According to the Guardian, more than 1500 forest firefighters were battling to control the wildfires, and many European countries like Spain and France sent forces to assist the efforts. (https://goo.gl/zL5Agf)

Sources: The Guardian, BBC, Express.co.uk

 

Forest fires Spain

Forest fires Spain

News

 

On the 24th of June a fire started in Spain in Moguer region in Huelva, Andalucía.

The fire forced the reallocation of more than 2.000 people and threatened an UNESCO World Heritage site of more than 107.000 hectares of extreme ecological value and endangered species.

Over 550 firefighters, soldiers and police officers with the support of 21 air units are combating this blaze.

beAWARE tools can be used in all of the phases in dealing with fire emergency. The system technologies will help in the early stages of the development of fires and support decision makers in the emergency management system.It will also use forecast and warning systems in the handling of the public and influence on their behaviour to minimize risk of fire.

 

Sources: Express.co.uk

Fires in France and Southern Europe

Fires in France and Southern Europe

News

 

On the 26th of June wildfires were once again blazing across southern Europe, forcing the evacuation of 12,000 people on France’s Mediterranean cost along with sudden forests fires as far afield as Corsica, Portugal, Italy and Albania.

In the Côte d’Azur region, more than 4,000 firefighters and troops backed by 19 water-bombers were mobilized to confront the flames.At least 12 firefighters were injured and 15 police officers were affected by smoke inhalation. According to the authorities, thousands of people were decided to move out of tents, campsites and holiday homes to save zones that were created around the affected areas.

Overall, there have been 1,068 blazes in 2017 across Europe – a huge increase on the 404 annually on average over the previous eight years. According to the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture, global warming was the major factor behind the increase of deadly fires and climate change had extended the wildfire season from two to up to five months.

The European Forest Institute has warned that “we’ll see more fires and more intense fires in the Mediterranean and new fire situations in countries that don’t really expect it”.

Sources: The Guardian, Euronews