Today the temperature in Athens reached 41°C in the shade and 48°C in the sun. This is the third hottest day in a row of the heatwave this week. So, what is it like to be in the Greek capital at temperatures close to those in the Sahara Desert?
GRReporter has sealed with a camera the typical pictures of August to share them with its readers. The "journey" started from Syntagma Square from where even the dozens of pigeons had disappeared. Few Athenians hurried to get to the subway station and some brave tourists were standing near the small water cascades in the benevolent shadow of the trees.
A few people were willing to take advantage of the attractive prices in the period of reductions along Ermou shopping Street. People were seeking to walk on the side of the street which was in the shade of buildings. The other sunny half was empty and those wishing to enter a shop there were just running across.
Monastiraki Square, which is usually full of tourists and skateboarders, was unusually empty.
Mainly tourists equipped with hats, umbrellas and water bottles usually used in the heat appeared there today.
However, they did not give up the intention to visit archaeological sites. Water and hats were among the best selling goods today.
To attract customers, the owners of traditional restaurants in the Plaka district had installed large fans. However, most of the tables were empty simply because the customers preferred the deeper shade.
Back to Syntagma Square the thermometer had jumped even higher due to the protest of the employees of the state Post Bank, which is expected to be privatised. The more active participants were standing under the fury of the sun’s blaze, shouting slogans against the government, which they believe will fall in a month, "and that is why a pool has been built in the prison in Korydallos." The majority of people, however, expressed their discontent under the trees and fortunately, there were no accidents.
Like every time when temperatures run high, municipalities in big cities had opened air-conditioned rooms, primarily for adults but also for all others, who have no similar home appliances. Over 35 such rooms will operate in downtown Athens and in the surrounding neighbourhoods today and tomorrow.
Moreover, there were at least forty watering troughs for stray dogs. Athens Mayor George Kaminis had posted in the social network Twitter a call to citizens to fill them with water when emptied.
And here is how some of them looked like today in an attempt to find cool under the air conditioners of the shops.
Of course, sometimes people are just trapped in the risks of their occupation. Grill men who are usually accustomed to the heat from grills were just swimming in sweat today, given that the temperature behind refrigerated display cabinets reached 50°C.
At the same time, a few fires have broken out in Greece and at least two of them are very close to Athens. In particular, the first flames near Koropi where the vegetation is low appeared shortly after 3 pm. Fire-fighters are fighting also another fire in a wooded area near Agia Marina to Koropi.
Particularly serious is the fire in a wooded area near Megalopoli in the Peloponnese. So far, authorities have evacuated the residents of four villages and cut off the traffic on the road Corinth - Tripoli - Kalamata in two places. 153 fire-fighters as well as 40 trained soldiers, 55 fire engines, 58 firemen and 3 helicopters are fighting the fire. Two citizens, a man and a woman were injured. The man has severe burns and was transferred from Tripoli to the hospital in Athens. The woman has breathing problems.
There are fires in Corinth, on the island of Kos and in the area of Monokselitis on Mount Athos. A fire has been burning in inaccessible woodland on Olympus since yesterday. Fire outbreaks in Larissa, on the island of Kythira, in a monastery on the small Inouses islands and near Mirtos in the town of Ierapetra on Crete have almost been extinguished.