MADRID – Thermometers ranging from Spain to Slovenia and from Bulgaria to Italy were rising throughout Friday as a heat wave brought with it temperatures as high as 40º C (104 F) and prompted many residents of central and southern Europe to seek shade and sources of water.
The Network of European Meteorological Services warned of red alerts for extremely hot temperatures across much of the Balkans, part of central Europe and in Italy, while orange alerts featured in much of the rest of southern Europe.
In Rome, where the mercury was touching 40º C, animals at the city zoo were fed frozen fruit and blocks of ice to keep them cool, as evident in images made available to epa.
Meanwhile, in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, one pet-owner opted to dunk his Yorkshire terrier in a fountain, offering the fluffy critter some light relief while temperatures soared there, too.
Humans across the continent sought respite from the sun as well; and in Madrid, the capital city that lies at the heart of Spain, a group of tourists made sure they remembered their parasols before venturing out onto the baking-hot streets, where temperatures settled in the high 30s for the duration of the afternoon.
A common consequence of Spanish summer heat is wildfire, and firefighters n the northern region of Galicia were battling a blaze that had burned throughout the night, as documented by EFE.
In Bulgaria, youngsters from the capital Sofia headed to the river and relished the cool flowing water, which provided both shade and an element of fun.
Temperatures are forecast to drop slightly heading into the weekend, but red alerts are predicted to stay in force across the Balkans and southern Italy.