Extreme heat set to continue in Romania, thunderstorms and heavy rainfalls also forecast
HEAT WAVE – Romanian meteorologists have extended the code red alert against extreme heat for Sunday as well, but narrowed it from 12 to 2 counties in the south-west, where highs of 40 - 41 degrees Celsius are expected. Meanwhile, nearly 3-quarters of the country remain subject to a code orange alert, with temperatures of up to 39 degrees and lows between 22 and 25 degrees. The heat wave that has hit Romania these days will continue, and the thermal discomfort index will go over 80, to 82-84 units. On the other hand, starting on Sunday thunderstorms and heavy rainfalls are expected in the north-west and the north of the country, particularly in the mountains, and on Monday in the northern half of the country. Weather experts warn that the weather will remain extremely hot next week as well. Two people died because of the extreme heat, and hundreds required medical assistance. First-aid tents have been set up in all major cities. Speed restrictions are in place on the national railway network as well as on the country’s main roads, with heavy-duty vehicle traffic restricted during the afternoon.
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 President of Romania Klaus Iohannis urged the Saxon ethnics attending a meeting in Sibiu on Saturday to pass on to younger generations the traditions and values of the community. The head of state, himself a German ethnic, gave a speech both in Romanian and German and attended a parade of Saxon traditional costumes. 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”. For this occasion, thousands of Saxon ethnics currently living in Germany, Austria and the USA returned to their home country. The agenda of the event includes 50 events, from exhibitions and book launches to music and dance performances. The Saxon ethnics, a German population, settled in Transylvania starting in the mid-12th Century.
HEROES Romania continues to commemorate 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 gave written notice to the UN of its intention to pull out of 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, 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 pull out from the deal only at the end of 2019, with a one-year notice, AFP reports.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)