Western Europe hits record temperature

Berlin [Germany]: Parts of Western Europe, including Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Britain on Wednesday recorded the highest temperatures this summer season with the mercury soaring above than 40 degrees Celsius.

Germany and Britain recorded 40.3 degrees Celsius and 38.5 degrees Celsius.

The mercury is expected to rise even further.

Paris is expected to record the highest temperature in its history on Thursday, with a predicted high of 42 degrees Celsius, or 107.6 Fahrenheit, shattering the record of 40.4, set in July 1947, according to Meteo France, the national weather service, The New York Times reported.

In France, a record 80 administrative regions were put on an orange alert, the second-highest level of warning, while a drought prompted the government to impose restrictions on water use in 73 regions.

Britain’s weather service has also placed five of England’s nine regions, including London, on a rarely invoked “Level Three” heat health watch, one level short of declaring a national emergency.

It has advised people to stay out of the sun, draw their window shades, drink plenty of fluids and check in on older people who live alone, “who might be at special risk.”

“A heatwave has been building across Europe this week,” said Liz Bentley, the chief executive of Britain’s Royal Meteorological Society, adding that the wave of scorching weather had come from northern Africa.

In Portugal, where temperatures reached 100 Fahrenheit early in the week, the heatwave fueled the latest round of devastating forest fires.

Over 1,000 firefighters supported by aircraft and a military unit, battled blazes that started last weekend, consumed about 22,000 acres and injured about 30 people so far.

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