Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Romania's heat wave toll rises to 34

AFP

Bucharest - Two people died on Tuesday in the latest heat wave to sweep Romania this summer, taking the toll since June 19 to 34 amid warnings that temperatures could soar as high as 40 degrees Centigrade.

The two deaths were recorded in the eastern region of Galati, where a 69-year-old woman died of a heart attack while watering her garden and a man died of heatstroke while waiting for a train.

Romanian officials have warned people, especially the elderly, to avoid going out too much. Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu has meanwhile allocated funds to install air conditioning at state hospitals.

Tents fitted with first-aid equipment have also been set up in several cities across the country, including around 30 in Bucharest.

The government-run railway network has slowed down trains to prevent accidents caused by overheating of the rails and heavy vehicles have been banned from driving on highways between 10.00am and 8.00pm.

Ten Romanian regions, including the capital, have been placed under high alert until Sunday.

The previous death toll, following a week-long heatwave at the end of June, stood at 32.

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