Severe weather hits Europe

Scores die in southern heat waves, while flood waters threaten to burst English dam.

    Heavy rains across England and Wales
     resulted in flash flooding [AFP]

    Four people in Romania died in high temperatures on Tuesday, according to health officials, taking the country's heat wave death toll to 29.


    In western Turkey, a man collapsed on a beach and later died as temperatures there reached 44C.


    Temperature record


    Greece, which has seen some of the highest temperatures, is set to record its hottest ever June.


    Parts of the nothern England city of
    Sheffield were heavily flooded [Reuters]

    The Greek government has ordered all public offices to close at midday on Tuesday and Wednesday to allow people to stay out of the sun.


    Firefighters in Italy battled on Tuesday to bring 30 forest fires sparked by the heat wave under control, with their efforts frustrated by strong winds.


    In Turkey, Muammer Guler, the governor of Istanbul, said pregnant and disabled public servants would be given days off on Tuesday and Wednesday.


    Meteorologists said temperatures could hit 40C in the Romanian capital Bucharest on Tuesday, the highest level in 90 years.

    In Britain, torrential rain and strong winds swept across England and Wales, killing three people and flooding homes and businesses.

    A 68-year-old man drowned in flash flood waters in the northern city of Sheffield, while a man in his 20s drowned in Hull after becoming stuck in a drain.


    A teenager also drowned in Sheffield after being swept away by the swollen River Sheaf.


    Evacuation effort


    About 250 people were evacuated from their homes near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, after cracks were spotted in the Ulley dam.


    "For the people in the area concerned, those who need to be moved have been," Matthew Jukes, police commander for Rotherham, said.


    Structural engineers were working to shore up the dam and pump out water from a reservoir covering more than 30 acres four miles south of the town.


    "If the dam should burst we would be talking in terms of maybe 15 minutes or so before water would reach residential areas," said Mike Cuff, chief executive of Rotherham council.



    Britian's environment agency has issued severe flood warnings in 20 areas, mainly in the Humberside, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire districts.


    The country's meterological office said the weather should improve on Tuesday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    When Muslims ruled the civilised world

    When Muslims ruled the civilised world

    Beyond the paradox of celebrating a bygone Islamic civilization at the height of Islamophobia in the United States.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.