Three more people in Greece have died from a heatwave described as the country’s longest on record, bringing the overall death toll to 12, the health ministry said on Friday.
The latest victims were a 59-year-old man in the central town of Karditsa, an 84-year-old man in Athens and a 72-year-old woman in Halkida, north of the capital, all of whom had been hospitalised with heatstroke symptoms Thursday.
Most of the dead are pensioners with a medical history.
Temperatures began rising beyond seasonal levels on June 19 and on June 26 the Athens Observatory recorded 44.8 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) at its Acropolis station, the highest since measurements began there 110 years ago.
The maximum temperature in Athens that day stood at 46.2 degrees Celsius in the northern district of Nea Filadelfia, the highest since records there began in 1955, the national weather service said.
The temperatures overheated power cables and distribution centres, causing long blackouts in several Athens districts and a brief power collapse in nine northeastern regions on Thursday.
The heatwave is also believed to have facilitated the outbreak of over 100 fires around the country since Wednesday, one of whom reached the outskirts of Athens on Mount Parnitha on Thursday night.
Several blazes are currently in progress in northern and central Greece.
The charred bodies of two men were found Thursday in the central region of Agia Larissas where they had become trapped by a blaze.
Moderate northerly winds brought down temperatures to around 35 degrees in Athens on Thursday.
Last Mod: 29 Haziran 2007, 16:50