Heat claims lives of tourists in Greece, Italy forecasts heatwave

Athens, June 18 (IANS/DPA): At least five tourists have died in Greece and others are missing as temperatures soar, according to media reports, with a heatwave also set to hit Italy in the coming days.

"Many tourists underestimate the effort associated with a walk in direct sunlight," Athens cardiologist Thomas Giannoulis said.

"The temperature can rise to 37 degrees in the shade and easily up to 60 degrees in the sun."

This increases the risk of dehydration and heatstroke. "And the danger rises the older a person is," Giannoulis said.

All of those who have died or gone missing are tourists aged from 55 to 80. The first was a 67-year-old British journalist who went missing on Simi off the Turkish coast at the beginning of June and whose body was found a few days later.

He had wandered off the path and collapsed at a spot where it was difficult for the search party to find him, the local authorities reported.

Two others died on Crete. An 80-year-old man who went for a walk on his own and a 70-year-old man who collapsed on a beach and died.

On Mathraki, a small island to the west of Corfu, a 55-year-old US citizen died while out walking. And on Samos off the Turkish coast, the body of a 74-year-old Dutch man was found days after he had gone for a walk on his own.

In the Cyclades, a US citizen has been missing for more than a week after he went for a walk., while two elderly French women are missing after going for a walk on Sikinos last week.

According to reports in the Greek press, some of the victims went out shortly after eating lunch and drinking alcohol. Others lacked a map or a smartphone or were in inaccessible terrain with no signal.

Setting off alone is the biggest mistake, Giannoulis says. In the event of heatstroke, one can quickly lose sense of time and orientation.

"Heatstroke must be treated in hospital as quickly as possible. Just drinking some water is not enough," the cardiologist said.

According to meteorologists, it has not been this hot at this time of year since records began, with temperatures of up to 40 degrees at the beginning of June.

Italian meteorologists are also predicting a heatwave in the coming days, with temperatures reaching nearly 40 degrees from Wednesday onwards.

On the large islands of Sicily and Sardinia and in the southern Puglia region, temperatures could exceed 40 degrees in some places on Thursday, the official weather service of the Italian Air Force predicted.

In Rome, temperatures of up to 38 degrees are expected on Thursday. In parts of Campania, where Naples is located, highs of 40 degrees are expected. In Tuscany, people can expect between 32 and 36 degrees, meteorologists said.

It will also be very warm in Emilia-Romagna on the Adriatic coast. However, Italy's northern regions will be spared excessively high temperatures.

According to weather site ilmeteo.it, the hot weather in central and southern Italy is due to a high-pressure area from Africa named "Minos" moving towards the country.

The hot air is accompanied by high humidity and hot nights. Towards the weekend, the heatwave will weaken. Severe thunderstorms are predicted, especially in the north, and a drop in temperatures.



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Title: Heat claims lives of tourists in Greece, Italy forecasts heatwave

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