Europe remains in the grip of extreme summer conditions
Updated 01:38, 17-Aug-2022
Ross Cullen in Paris

From raging wildfires to flooded town centers, Europe's summer of extreme weather continues.

Firefighters are continuing to battle blazes in Spain, where they have spent long periods this summer trying to control the flames.

The fire in the Moncayo region has been controlled for now but it has left behind a trail of ash, embers and charred ruins.


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"The truth is that it is a mixture of dismay and astonishment because nobody likes to see this," said Jose Angel Monteagudo, a resident who was moved to safety by the fire authorities.

"It is our town, the land that we love, the land of our grandparents, where we have always been, and the truth is that it is a disaster," he added.


'The apocalypse'

France has also been impacted by some of the continent's most serious wildfires this summer.

On August 15, the government announced financial support and tax breaks for the worst-hit communities.

A doe looks on in a burnt forest following a fire in South Gironde, near Belin-Beliet, south-western France. /Thibaud Moritz/AFP

A doe looks on in a burnt forest following a fire in South Gironde, near Belin-Beliet, south-western France. /Thibaud Moritz/AFP

Residents of the town of Belin-Beliet are starting to return after being forced to evacuate from their homes.

Jean-Luc Labadie described the fires as "the apocalypse… It's hell". 

But after weeks of heatwaves, wildfires, and a drought situation that saw every region nationwide suffer some sort of water-supply issue, there is now the looming threat of floods.


'Time to prepare'

Stormy weather is expected over the next few days in southern and western France.

Eric Brocardi, the spokesman for France's fire brigade, said that "it's time to prepare" for the risk of flooding in the autumn.


In Britain, parts of the country were officially declared to be suffering from drought. But storm systems are now passing over the island, sparking thunder and lightning and causing floods which can be made worse by the bone-dry land.

Germany's main industry lobby group warned on Tuesday that factories may have to cut or halt production as plunging water levels on the Rhine are making it more difficult to ferry cargo up and down the river.

"The ongoing drought and the low water levels threaten the supply security of industry," said Holger Loesch, deputy head of the BDI business lobby group.

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