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August heat in Athens

09 August 2011 / 18:08:14  GRReporter
2610 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

A hat, a bottle of water in hand and clothes in light colours. One of the hottest days of the summer imposes this style on the residents and visitors to Athens.

Traditionally, the Greek capital is always half empty in the month of leaves. But the heat today forced the few remaining people in the city to limit their going out from the office or home as much as possible. People were going from a shadow to a shadow, trying to protect themselves from the bright sun that heated the atmosphere.

But because in the language of meteorologists the high temperatures today and tomorrow are not so high to justify the definition of "heat wave", the Athens municipality decided this time not to open the doors of air-conditioned clubs for pensioners and other facilities and to offer some coolness to the townspeople. However, first aid ambulance and two motorcycles were on the square just in case and were ready to respond if a citizen or visitor would need medical attention.

Although the display on Syntagma showed not more than 36°C, the hot marbles were emitting more heat, making the atmosphere very hot. The few Athenians who dared to go out were sitting on the benches in the shade or into the gardens, where until recently were the tents of what was left of the movement of Discontented. Even the pigeons were flying clumsily and many of them were lingering in the fountain.

Similar was the situation in the National Garden. Tourists and local citizens were cooling off in the fountains and enjoying a pleasant siesta under the shade of various trees, some of which are over 100 years old.

The heat is expected to continue tomorrow, so doctors remind us of the main measures we have to take. They advise us to drink plenty of liquids; to keep our house or office cool with an air- conditioner, a fan, or even draught wherever possible; to avoid staying under the sun, especially in the hours between 11:00 and 17:00; to go out as little as possible; to wear light and loose clothing to allow the air to flow between the clothes and the skin; not to eat much; to put more salt in the meals, especially in case of low blood pressure; to wear a hat or an umbrella when in the open; to take showers frequently or put wet towels on the forehead or body, and to sit in the shade when out of the sea.

Elderly people suffering from respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, diabetics and people with neurological or psychiatric disorders should consult with the doctor treating them for possible changes in the treatment, especially if they take diuretic medications. Parents of small children and mostly babies should watch their behaviour and seek medical attention in case it changes.

Doctors say that taking water and juices hydrates the body the best. According to them, soft drinks are cooling, but they do not help the body fight off the heat. Alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

It is not necessary to set the air-conditioner to very low temperatures to make a cool and pleasant atmosphere at home. The most suitable temperature is 24-25°C and a window or door should be half-open for air circulation. Doctors advise to avoid standing directly under the air-conditioning airflow and not to smoke in the room where the air-conditioner is.

Today, the highest temperature of 40°C was reported in parts of western Greece. It did not exceed 38°C in Athens and reached 39°C in Volos, Patras and Kalamata. The maximum temperature on the Aegean Islands and Crete was 36°C.

A sharp decrease in temperatures and strong north wind are expected from Thursday on in Greece. In Athens, the thermometer is not expected to go under 30°C while in Thessaloniki it will reach 29°C.


Tags: SocietyHigh temperaturesHot waveFreshnessPreventive measuresAir-conditionerHydration
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