34 fatalities on mainland Europe


The rest of Europe is baking in a heatwave that has killed at least 34 people.More than a week of fires has taken 14 lives in Portugal, where temperatures inched up towards 40 degrees, while neighbouring Spain recorded its 13th death from record heat.

In Germany there were five heat-related deaths in one town alone over the weekend.

Portuguese authorities battling blazes in tinder-dry central mountains reported the fire-related deaths of three people yesterday, taking the toll to 14 since the blazes broke out at the start of last week.

Water-bombing helicopters soared over smoking mountains near Serta, about 110 miles northeast of Lisbon. Hundreds of firefighters also fought the blaze. Still rising temperatures and an easterly wind off the Spanish plains could rekindle some fires, the National Rescue Operations Centre said.

Portugal has asked NATO for help fighting what is has declared a national disaster.

Firefighters battled forest blazes in Liguria and Tuscany in western Italy, and on the holiday island of Elba. Croatian firefighters brought week-old fires on the Adriatic islands of Hvar and Brac under control.

Meanwhile, German farmers were warned to keep their cows indoors during the day and only let them out to pasture at night. Experts said milk production falls by 50 per cent as temperatures approach 40 degrees.