Second heatwave Charon to hit Italy as temperatures could break records today

A second heatwave is expected to hit Italy next week as Cerberus is swiftly followed by heatwave Cheron, named after the ferryman to the underworld in Greek mythology.

According to La Repubblica, the heat expected this weekend could be trumped by 12C in the following days, particularly for Tuscany and Lazio.

It comes as Greece introduced emergency measures for workers, and zoo animals in Madrid were fed fruit popsicles, as a deadly heatwave grips large parts of Mediterranean Europe with temperatures forecast to break all-time records.

The Cerberus heatwave is set to get worse over the weekend with the mercury expected reach as high as 45C in parts of Greece, Spain and Italy.

The Greek government has changed hours for workers to avoid the midday heat, as temperatures could top 44C there in the days to come.

Spain is expected to see 45C over the weekend with satellite data from the European space agency showing ground temperatures, which are different from air temperatures, reaching 60C.

Europeans seek shade as heatwave grips much of the continent

Greece briefly shuts Acropolis site to protect tourists from heatwave

Greece will shut the ancient Acropolis for a few hours on Friday to protect visitors to one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites from a heatwave enveloping Athens and other countries in southern Europe.

The Acropolis Hill, home to the Parthenon temple that is visited by millions of tourists every year, will be closed from noon to 5 p.m. (0900 GMT-1400 GMT) on Friday, authorities said.

Greece’s meteorological service forecast temperatures peaking at 41 Celsius (105.8 Fahrenheit) in Athens by midday, but the mercury on the Acropolis Hill that overlooks the Greek capital is usually higher due to its altitude and lack of shade.

Hellenic Red Cross workers handed out bottles of water to tourists forming long queues, and fanning themselves under the shade of olive trees before the Acropolis entrance, before the famed monument was temporarily closed.

Southern Europe is sweltering under a fierce heatwave, with a warning that temperatures could hit record highs for the continent next week, raising fears about the impact on human health, crops and animals.

Tourists struggle to stay cool in Athens as temperatures soar

Tourists in central Athens huddled under mist machines and zoo animals in Madrid were fed fruit popsicles Thursday as southern Europeans suffered through a heat wave that was projected to get much worse heading into the weekend.

Temperatures in parts of Mediterranean Europe were forecast to reach as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113 F) starting Friday.

The high-pressure system affecting the region, which crossed the Mediterranean from north Africa, has been named Cerberus after the three-headed dog in ancient Greek mythology who guarded the gates to the underworld.

Officials in several countries were preparing emergency measures, cellphone alerts and adjustments to staffing levels.

In Athens and other Greek cities, working hours were changed for the public sector and many businesses to avoid the midday heat, while air-conditioned areas were opened to the public.

Cerberus is being tracked by the European Space Agency, which warned that the heat wave will also be felt in parts of northern Europe.

“Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Poland are all facing a major heat wave, with temperatures expected to climb to 48 degrees Celsius on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia – potentially the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Europe” the agency said Thursday.

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