BELGRADE, SERBIA (AUGUST 4, 2017) (REUTERS) – Swathes of southern and eastern Europe sweltered in temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104°F) on Friday (August 4) in a heat wave nicknamed “Lucifer” that has fanned forest fires, triggered weather warning alerts and damaged crops.
Italy and the Balkans were worst affected, though areas as far north as southern Poland also basked in abnormally hot temperatures, and European weather hub Meteoalarm issued its highest grade “red” warnings for 10 countries.
Firefighters busy in Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Croatia, and authorities advised people to stay indoors and increase their water intake. Temperatures were expected to stay around 40 degrees Celsius into next week.
Bosnian officials said the heat wave and drought had nearly halved agricultural output, which accounts for 10 percent of the country’s economic output.
Serbia reported a similar situation and experts said drought could slash corn and soybean production by a third.
In neighbouring Croatia the heat wave and peak tourist season has driven power demand and spot prices to record levels, officials said on Friday.