Heatwaves set more records across Europe, Asia and US

Residents across the globe grapple with scorching temperatures, deadly wildfires and health warnings.

Firefighters work to contain a wildfire in the coastal city of Nafplio, Peloponnese region, Greece
Firefighters work to contain a wildfire in the coastal city of Nafplio, Peloponnese region, Greece. [Bougiotis Evangelos/EPA]

The intense heatwave across the world has shown no signs of abating.

Residents across Asia, Europe and North America scramble to find some relief from unforgiving temperatures.

Extreme heat was forecast across the globe on Wednesday as firefighters battled blazes in parts of Greece and the Canary Islands while authorities from California to China warned of the health dangers brought by searing temperatures, urging people to drink water and shelter from the sun.

Here is a quick look at the places affected the most so far by scorching temperatures:


Tourists flocked to a giant thermometer in China showing surface temperatures of 80 degrees Celsius (176 degress Fahrenheit) on Wednesday, the latest extreme weather sparking havoc and curiosity around the world.

On Tuesday, the capital, Beijing, logged its 27th day of temperatures of more than 35C (95F), setting a new record for the most number of high-temperature days in a year.

On Sunday, a remote township in the Turpan Depression registered a maximum temperature of 52.2C (126F), smashing China’s national record of 50.3C (122.5F) that was also set in the basin in 2015.


Wildfires burned for a third day west of the Greek capital, Athens, with air water bombers resuming operations at first light and firefighters working throughout the night to keep flames away from a complex of coastal refineries.

Fire spokesman Yannis Artopios called it “a difficult day”, with another heatwave on the horizon for Thursday, with expected temperatures of 44C (111F).

A forest fire by the seaside resort of Loutraki, where the mayor said 1,200 children had been evacuated on Monday from holiday camps, was still burning.

A fireman douses flames on a wildfire at Panorama settlement near Agioi Theodori, some 70 kms west of Athens on July 18, 2023. - Europe braced for new high temperatures on July 18, 2023, under a relentless heatwave and wildfires that have scorched swathes of the Northern Hemisphere, forcing the evacuation of 1,200 children close to a Greek seaside resort. Health authorities have sounded alarms from North America to Europe and Asia, urging people to stay hydrated and shelter from the burning sun, in a stark reminder of the effects of global warming. (Photo by Valerie GACHE / AFP)
A fireman douses flames on a wildfire at the Panorama settlement near Agioi Theodori, some 70 kms west of Athens [Valerie Gache/AFP]


The Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily have been forecast to possibly surpass a continent-wide record of 48.8C (120F) recorded in Sicily in August 2021.

In the Sardinian capital of Cagliari, pharmacist Teresa Angioni said patients were complaining of heat-related symptoms.


“We’re all suffocating!” Spanish television presenter Silvia Intxaurrondo shouted in front of the running cameras of the state TV channel RTVE as the peak of the third heatwave of the summer in Spain made locals and tourists sweat profusely.

The digital newspaper OKdiario ran the headline: “Spain melts this week.”

For the north and east of Mallorca and also for parts of Catalonia and Aragon in the Spanish northeast, the national weather service AEMET declared the highest alert level red on Tuesday. The heatwave is expected to be over by Thursday at the latest.

A man cools off by a fountain water during a heatwave in Seville on July 10, 2023. - Temperatures were soaring across Spain on July 10 with the mercury set to touch 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) in the south as the country braced for its second heatwave in a fortnight. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)
A man cools off under a fountain during a heatwave in Seville, Spain [Cristina Quicler/AFP]


In southern France, a record 29.5C (85.1F) was recorded in the Alpine ski resort of Alpe d’Huez, while 40.6C (105.1F) had been recorded for the first time in Verdun in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

Canary Islands

In the Canary Islands, some 400 firefighters battled a blaze that has ravaged 3,500 hectares (8,650 acres) of forest and forced 4,000 people to evacuate, with authorities warning residents to wear face masks outside due to poor air quality.

United States

Tens of millions of Americans experienced dangerous heat levels this week with the National Weather Service warning that “an extremely dangerous and long-duration heat wave will continue over the Southwest well into next week with oppressive heat indices spreading across the south-central and southeast”.

In the town of San Angelo, Texas, where temperatures were expected to reach 40-42C (104-108F), the National Weather Service said it was “running out of ways to say that it’s gonna be hot out there today”.

In Arizona, the mercury at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport again reached 43.3C (110F) on Tuesday, breaking the previous record of 18 consecutive days at or above that temperature, set in 1974.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies