2 people died, hundreds required assistance because of extreme heat in Romania.
HEAT WAVE – A quarter of Romania’s territory has been placed under code red alert for extreme heat until Saturday night; in 12 counties in western Romania temperatures are expected to soar to 42 degrees Celsius. This is the second code red alert issued this summer, after the one in early July. The rest of the country remains under a code orange alert with temperatures of 39 degrees Celsius. The code red alert will stay in place on Sunday in 2 counties in the south-west, and nearly 3-quarters of the country will remain under a code orange warning. The thermal discomfort index went over 80 and could reach 82-84 units. Over the past two days 2 people died and hundreds required assistance because of the extreme heat. First-aid tents have been set up in all major cities to provide fresh cold water to people. Mobile ambulance and medical services have been placed on high alert and speed restrictions are in place on the national railway network as well as on the country’s main roads with a view to avoiding accidents. The drought Romania is currently facing has severely damaged the corn and sunflower crops. Weather experts say that the heat wave will last until mid-next week, but only in the south, while atmospheric instability will increase, particularly in the mountains and in the north of the country.
ALERT – Extreme temperatures are also reported across Europe this weekend. Code red alerts are in place in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary, in most of Slovenia, south of Poland, south of Slovakia, south of Switzerland, in central and south-eastern Italy as well as in the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. High wildfire risks are reported in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Albania, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. The Foreign Ministry recommends that areas under alert should be avoided, and says that Romanian diplomatic missions abroad are prepared to provide assistance to those who request it.
SAXONS – The city of Sibiu in central Romania is hosting, until Sunday, the 27th and largest so far meeting of Transylvanian Saxon ethnics, under the motto “Home around the world, heart in Transylvania”. Taking part are around 12,000 Saxon ethnics, most of them living at present in Germany, Austria and the USA. More than 50 events will take place in the medieval squares of Sibiu, from exhibitions and book launches to music and dance performances. The most eagerly awaited of them is a parade of Saxon traditional costumes, an event scheduled for today and in which the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis, himself a German ethnic, is expected to take part. The head of state said this year’s meeting is an opportunity for the younger generation of Saxons living in Germany to get to know and like more their parents’ home country. The Saxon ethnics settled in Transylvania starting in the mid-12th Century.
HEROES Romania continues to commemorate today its WWI heroes through a series of ceremonies held all over the country. The peak of these events organised by the National Defence Ministry and the Vrancea County Council will be on Sunday, when the country marks 100 years since the Battle of Marasesti, a watershed moment for Romania in the Great War. Regarded as one of the most impressive monuments in the country, the Mausoleum in Marasesti was built in the place where, in the summer of 1917, the Romanian soldiers stood their ground against a technically superior and better-trained German army, losing 480 officers and over 21,000 troops.
CLIMATE – The USA notified the UN on the intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, but will continue to take part in international negotiations, the American State Department announced. Washington will take part in the forthcoming annual UN conference on climate, due in November in Bonn, Germany. On June 1, the US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the country from this agreement aimed at containing global warming and signed in 2015 by 195 states. Trump says the deal damages the American economy, but he does not rule out the US rejoining the process after renegotiations or even the signing of a new agreement able to protect the US. Under the Agreement, an official withdrawal notification can only take effect 3 years after the agreement has come into force, that is on November 4, 2016. Donald Trump will therefore be able to renounce the deal only at the end of 2019, with a one-year notice, AFP reports.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)