Bucharest - Searing heat has claimed more lives in Romania, leading to the death of at least 28 people in the past week, the country's health ministry said Tuesday. As the temperature rose to 40 degrees Celsius in the shade in the eight southern, hardest-hit districts, five of the victims, most of whom were the elderly and chronic patients.
The number of calls for medical help remained well above the average, with some 20 per cent of all requests related to the heat, local reports said.
With no cooler weather in sight, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu has called for another emergency cabinet session on Wednesday, with water supply in crisis regions on the agenda. Many artesian wells in have dried up during the ongoing heatwave.
It was also very hot, between 35 and 40 degrees or more, everywhere in the Balkans, between the Black Sea and the Adriatic. However, in the region only Romania has a formal heat alert.
In Montenegro, the water in the Bay of Kotor reached an incredible 31 degrees, and the air was heated to 41 degrees.
Authorities in Serbia incessantly appeal on the population to stay inside when possible and to drink water in temperatures ranging from 32 to 39 degrees.
In Bulgaria an afternoon ban was imposed on heavy traffic on some routes in order to save the melting roads from total damage, even as and road construction workers had their working hours reduced.