In just the first few hours of severe hot temperatures in Bulgarian capital Sofia on July 1, as temperatures were forecast to rise to 39 degrees Celsius, there were five heat-related deaths, emergency services said.
Among the dead was a 75-year-old man who had decided to go for a run in a park in the city, according to television station bTV. He collapsed and died on the spot.
By noon on July 1, a total of 178 people had collapsed because of the high temperatures in Sofia.
The city was subject to the “Code Orange” dangerous weather warning – while most of Bulgaria was subject to the highest-level alert, the “Code Red” extremely dangerous weather warning. The forecast high for several cities and towns was for temperatures above 40 deg C.
Forecasts were that Saturday would be the peak of the heatwave that has covered Bulgaria and much of the Balkans in recent days.
Bulgaria’s emergency medics appealed to the public to stay at home, drink lots of water and non-alcoholic fluids and to avoid consuming alcohol and heavy foods.
(Photo: Auro Queiroz/freeimages)