Temperatures in Europe have the potential to break records in the coming days as the Cerberus heatwave continues to sweep across the continent.
The heat is building towards a torrid weekend with temperatures set to reach a maximum of 37°C in Italy, 39°C in Spain, 40°C in Cyprus and 45°C in Greece tomorrow.
A red alert has been issued for 10 cities in Italy, including Rome, Bologna and Florence.
Italian politician Nicola Fratoianni tweeted: ‘We are facing an unbearable heatwave.
‘Maybe it’s the case that in the hottest hours all the useful precautions are taken to avoid tragedies like the one that happened today in Lodi.’
It was reported by local media that a man aged 44 collapsed in the town of Lodi, near Milan, due to the heat. He was taken to hospital and later died.
And storms in the northern Lombardy region ripped roofs off buildings, knocked down trees and caused severe flooding.
More than 200 firefighters were called to emergencies in Milan, near Lake Como and in the Alps.
Meanwhile in Greece, with the extreme temperatures expected to reach 45°C, the government is taking measures to protect citizens.
People are currently banned from entering nature reserves and forests due to the risk of wildfires, and air-conditioned areas are being opened in public areas so people can escape the heat.
Working animals – such as horses and donkeys offering rides to tourists – will not be allowed to work while temperatures are between 35°C and 39°C in the shade between midday and 5pm, and if temperatures exceed that they will not be allowed to work at all.
Spain reached temperatures of 45°C on Monday and more than 100 weather stations registered temperatures of at least 35°C as early as 6am yesterday.
The heatwave has been named after Cerberus – the three-headed dog from Greek mythology which guards the gates to the underworld.
Meteorologist Stefano Rossi told Italian outlet La Stampa: ‘Metaphorically, the three heads indicate the three main climatic zone into which Italy will be divided.’
Pictures show British tourists struggling in the heat, resting under trees and using their shirts as parasols.
But forecasters have confirmed the UK will be spared the extreme temperatures.
Met Office spokesperson Grahame Madge said: ‘The heatwave conditions which are affecting parts of south west Europe and north west Africa are expected to extend eastward.
‘Much higher than average temperatures are also likely at times further north across Europe, but these will be shorter lived and less impactful.
‘Communities in the affected regions should expect health impacts and the potential for wildfires.’
Scientists recently revealed heat-related deaths soared to 61,000 across Europe in 2022, which was the continent’s hottest-ever summer.
The Mediterranean region is expected to see temperatures rise faster than most areas across the world due to climate change.
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