NEWS WATCH: Heat Wave Causing Misery in Europe

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By BosNewsLife News Center in Budapest

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Drought and heat causing wild fires in Balkans.


BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- Central and Eastern Europe is trying to overcome a stubborn heat wave that has overshadowed Europe's largest music festival and caused wild fires in the Balkans.

Organizers distribute drinking water among many of the near 400,000 visitors at the Sziget Festival in Budapest, where people can watch some 1.000 acts on 60 stages in soaring temperatures. Even water hoses are used to keep revelers cool on the Óbuda-island in the Danube river.

Temperatures have hit all-time highs in Hungary and neighboring Austria as a stubborn heat wave nears the end of its second week. Thursday's 40.5 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit) in Austria marked the the first time that country has ever eclipsed the 40 C mark since daily records began in 1858.

The drought has also caused troubles in the nearby Balkans. Croatia sent two water-dropping planes to nearby Bosnia to help battle wildfires set off by drought and sweltering heat that threatened several villages.

RUSSIAN PLANE

A Russian plane was dispatched to fight blazes in Serbia, a traditional ally of Russia. Temperatures also nearly broke records in Poland.

Here in Hungary, temperatures were have hit close to 40 Celsius, officials have issued a heat warning, while some government ministries have relaxed dress codes. For men, that means ties and jackets can be left at home. For women, nylon stockings are optional.

Yet at the Sziget Festival, thousands walk in swimming suits as they rock their way, in plenty of sunshine.

(BosNewsLife's NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key general news developments from especially, but not limited to, (former) Communist countries and other autocratic states impacting the Church and/or other compassionate professionals).

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