PARIS, FRANCE / LONDON, ENGLAND, UK / COLOGNE & MUNICH & OFFENBACH, GERMANY / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / MADRID, SPAIN / GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (REUTERS) – Temperatures across Europe broke records with a high expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit in some cities.
In the UK, officials issued urgent health warnings as it was the hottest day in July in nine years.
The Swiss indulged in water activities to cool off as weather experts warned of the dangers posed by the hot weather.
Tens of thousands of people died across Europe in a 2003 heatwave and again in Russia in 2010.
Paris issued warnings for locals and tourists to stay in the shade and drink plenty of water.
Etienne Barbot, Paris resident,
“During the day, there are always some places in the shade but when you are at home it’s more difficult to stand these temperatures.”
Sun-lovers soaked up the rays in Brussels, while parents took care of their children.
Meteorologists in Spain have placed parts of the region under yellow alert, two notches below the highest.
Locals and tourists in Madrid cooled off in public fountains to escape the dry heat.
Marcelo, Argentinean tourist,
“I come from a place that is below zero degrees Celsius, so good, this is fairly good for me.”
And people in Germany enjoyed the warm summer weather as meteorologists predict the country’s hottest summer in 30 years.
Juergen Moeller, Germany resident,
“I am happy about the beautiful weather. I find it fantastic that summer has finally arrived. People are never happy: if it rains, it’s bad. If it’s nice, that’s also bad.”
Heatwaves are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change, according to the United Nations.