A heatwave has hit Greece this weekend and will continue into the coming week according to a forecast by the Greek weather service. Temperatures will reach as high as 40C and there will be low wind speeds in several parts of the country.
Experts warned that discomfort levels may be high, especially in urban centres, while Greek local authorities have prepared for the summer’s first heatwave by making public air-conditioned areas available for those most vulnerable to high temperatures.
They also advise the general public to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and high temperatures, as this can lead to serious health problems.
Talking to the ANA-MPA, Athens Medical School pathology professor, Anastasios Spantideas, stated that special care must be given to the very young and very old, since in both cases the body’s heat-regulating mechanisms are either too immature or less able to adjust to temperature extremes.
Others more vulnerable to high temperatures are pregnant women, persons with thyroid disorders, and people with respiratory and cardiovascular complaints.
Doctors advise everyone to take precautions against the heat, such as avoiding strenuous exercise or manual labour, ensuring that they are in properly air-conditioned or shady environments, that they are lightly dressed in light-coloured clothing and wear a hat outdoors.
People should also drink lots of fluids, such as water or natural fruit juices, eat preferably light and easily digestible foods, have small, frequent meals that include vegetables and fruits and avoid excessive intake of salt and of alcohol.
According to the weather service, temperatures will remain in the high 30s or even reach 40 on Monday and Tuesday and will gradually start to drop from Wednesday, initially only in western parts of the country, when wind speeds are forecast to rise.