Three more die in record heat wave

Three more people have died as a result of the prolonged heat wave, the Health Ministry said yesterday as environmental experts warned that the forest fire on Mount Parnitha will likely lead to hotter temperatures in Attica in the future. The three people who died yesterday were identified as an 84-year-old man from Athens, a 72-year-old woman from Halkida on the island of Evia, and a 59-year-old man from Karditsa in central Greece. All three had been hospitalized with heatstroke symptoms on Thursday. Their deaths brought to 12 the total number of Greeks to die during the record heat wave that sorely tried the country for the past two weeks. Although the temperature in Attica dropped yesterday, environmental experts warned that there is likely to be little respite from sweltering temperatures in the future after an estimated 3,000 hectares of forest on Mount Parnitha were burned. Dimitris Karavellas, the head of WWF Greece, said the impact of the fire would be felt «through the worsening quality of air in the city, the increase in the average temperature and floods, which we will likely experience this winter.» «Attica used to have a specific climate, for which it was well known,» Giorgos Kallos,associate professor of meteorology at the University of Athens, told Kathimerini. «But urbanization and the other changes that accompany it have disturbed the local climate, which is not what it used to be.» Kallos said that the disappearance of forests around Attica was one of the factors that would contribute to higher temperatures in the future.

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