A monitoring station on the Italian island of Sicily reached a scorching temperature of 48.8 degrees Celsius, or 119.84 degrees Fahrenheit, on Wednesday. If verified by the World Meteorological Organization, it would mark the hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe, topping the previous record of 48 degrees set in Athens in July 1977.
Though long accustomed to the summer heat, Sicilians don’t need an official record to tell them that this season has been particularly oppressive.
“I have no memory of such an unbearable heat,” said Francesco Italia, the mayor of the ancient city of Syracuse, near where the station recorded the potential heat record, in a phone interview. “It is so humid that you just can’t be outside after a certain hour.”
Elsewhere around the Mediterranean, after 10 days of battling blazes across the country, firefighters in Greece managed to contain most of them on Thursday, although a thunderstorm was a mixed blessing: The rain doused some of the smoldering fires, but lightning sparked new ones.
rising temperatures and destruction from fires in Algeria, Sicily and Turkey. “This is not just a Greek phenomenon. It is Mediterranean, it is global,” he said, adding that countries should work together against this “common crisis.”
In Turkey, only days after wildfires razed
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