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‘We’re in Greece with no AC and it’s 32°C at night

A British tourist in Greece has detailed the “brutal” and “dystopian” conditions during Europe’s heatwave, which has already been linked to the deaths of several holidaymakers.

The Red Cross has warned of level 3 heat alerts, the highest possible level, as temperatures are expected to soar this week to up to 40°C in Spain, Turkey, Italy and Greece.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, firefighters struggled to contain wildfires fanned by gale-force winds on two Greek islands, Andros and Salamina. Police arrested 13 people on Saturday after fireworks launched from a yacht set off a forest fire on the island of Hydra, near Athens.

Six foreigners have died this month in Greece and several tourists have also been reported missing during the heatwave, including TV presenter Dr Michael Mosley, who died in Symi, a Greek island close to Turkey.

Roo Clarke, a 28-year-old tourist from Ipswich, has been battling extreme weather on the Greek island of Skyros, where temperatures were highest last week.

“It was really pretty unpleasant,” Mr Clark told i. “We basically didn’t go outside between 11[am] and 4pm and it has been 32°C at night, with no AC.”

He added: “The mosquitoes were 500 times worse because there is no wind and it’s so hot. It was pretty brutal the amount of bites we had.”

Mr Clark said authorities in Skyros were on “high alert in terms of forest fires”, scared of a repeat from last August when a particularly large fire broke out on the island.

“It all seems a bit dystopian,” he said, “being here and thinking back to last year when all those Brits were stuck on Greek islands with the fires.”

While heatwaves are common in the region, this is said to be the earliest on record with Greek meteorologist Panos Giannopoulos commenting: “This heatwave will go down in history.

“In the 20th century, we never had a heatwave before June 19. We have had several in the 21st century, but none before June 15,” he told the Greek state television channel, ERT.

Mr Clark is concerned about climate change and says it may change his attitude to tourism in the future, adding: “Now I think, ‘Do we want to be putting pressure on an environment that is already under the cosh? Is it ethical to go somewhere in a drought?’”

For now, though, he is still able to enjoy his month-long escape from the UK, where he and his girlfriend are “drinking plenty of hydrolytes and taking cold showers”.

“Being a classic Brit abroad, I got heatstroke [last week] for being in the sun too long. And since then we probably have been a bit more cautious.

“It is super hot here, but it is very nice in the sea and we have managed.”

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