A scorching heatwave continues to grip southern Europe, with extreme conditions expected to worsen in the coming days. Popular destinations for holidaymakers and Northern Irish expats, such as Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Greece, are among the most heavily affected countries. As the heatwave persists, BBC News NI has gathered insights on how Northern Irish individuals residing in Europe are coping with the soaring temperatures. From holidaymakers struggling with sightseeing to business owners adapting their schedules, here are their experiences and strategies for managing during this intense heatwave.
Mark Regan’s Italian Holiday: Mark Regan, hailing from Templepatrick in County Antrim, is currently on vacation with his family in Italy, where 16 cities are under red alerts. Mark described his experience as being “absolutely baked” during a visit to Pompeii. Despite the challenging conditions, he emphasized the importance of staying hydrated and expressed cautious optimism, stating that although the heat is borderline unsafe, they can still enjoy their holiday safely.
Brian Russell’s Costa Del Sol Getaway: Former Irish league footballer Brian Russell, currently on holiday in the Costa Del Sol, shared his struggle with the scorching heat. With flip flops melting and half the people seeking shade and the other half taking refuge in swimming pools, he humorously conveyed the intensity of the heatwave.
Stacy Fitzpatrick’s Madrid Dilemma: Residing in Madrid and owning a bar, Stacy Fitzpatrick revealed the difficulties of sleeping in such extreme temperatures. With the mercury peaking at 43C, Stacy mentioned the constant sweating and the resulting fatigue caused by the challenging sleeping conditions. She highlighted the shift in customer behavior, with people venturing out later in the evening due to the discomfort of earlier hours.
David Graham’s Animal Sanctuary in Turkey: Living in Turkey for two years, David Graham runs an animal sanctuary in Dalyan, located on the country’s southwest coast. He expressed concern for the sick and dehydrated animals in his care due to the brutal heat. David described the challenges faced during his daily trips to feeding stations, as the scorching temperatures make it tough to manage.
Justine Acar’s Experience in Turkey: Originally from Belfast, Justine Acar has spent several years in Turkey. She pointed out that while Europe is experiencing a severe heatwave, the conditions in Turkey may be even worse. Justine mentioned that her car registered a staggering 46C on Saturday, making it too hot to even swim.
Gavin McLaughlin’s Insights from Milan: Teaching in Milan for two years, Gavin McLaughlin shared his observations on how the city copes with the heatwave. While Milan isn’t on the red list, Gavin described his experience of a holiday in Sorrento, where temperatures reached 37C. He noted that locals tend to seek shade and avoid the sun, transforming the city into a ghost town during the summer months as people head to the coast or lakes.
As heatwaves become increasingly common and intense due to global warming, individuals across Europe are adapting their routines and strategies to manage the extreme temperatures. Whether it’s staying hydrated, seeking shade, adjusting business hours, or caring for animals, Northern Irish people abroad are finding ways to cope with the scorching heat. The need to reduce emissions and address climate change is underscored by the frequency and severity of these extreme weather events.