Last Update: 10:37
Temperatures are set to soar over the next few days as Greece experiences the summerÎ„s first heatwave, with the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS) warning that they might climb as high as 43C by Friday.
The maximum temperatures forecast on mainland Greece over the coming week are 39C on Wednesday, 40-41C on Thursday and 42-43C on Friday and Saturday.
On Sunday, the top temperatures will abate slightly in western Greece, dropping to 37-39C, but remain at around 40-42 in eastern Greece.
On islands and coastal areas the forecast is for a maximum temperature of 35C on Wednesday and Thursday, 36-38C on Friday and Saturday, before dropping to 33-35C in the west and climbing 37-39C in the east on Sunday.
The weather will then start to cool appreciably from Monday, July 3. More information will be available in the daily forecasts and the HNMS web-page.
Talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, the head of the HNMS Antonis Lalos said that heatwaves of this kind in June and early July were "relatively rare," occurring roughly once a decade, with the last taking place in 2007. Asked about July, he said it was impossible to know what to expect.
"There could be two or three heatwaves, there may be some normal interim post-meltemi periods. We should keep in mindy, however, that it does not follow that because we baked now the same will continue in July," he said.
Noting that the heat will begin to subside on Monday, Lalos urged the public to be "patient and to take care of persons with health issues and those in vulnerable groups."
The Civil Protection General Secretariat, meanwhile, has issued alerted the competent state services and municipal and regional authorities to be on standby and take measures to protect the public from the extremely high temperatures.
It has also issued a set of guidelines for coping with the high temperatures and caring for vulnerable members of the community, as well as avoiding heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
It advises the public to stay in cool, shady spaces and away from crowded areas, to use air-conditioners and fans to keep cool, and to avoid hard physical labour in spaces that are hot, humid and airless.
The public is also advised to avoid sun-bathing or walking and running in the sun, to wear hats and sunglasses outdoors and light-coloured clothing made of natural, airy fabrics that allow sweat to evaporate.
People are also advised to eat light meals of mainly fruits and vegetables, restricting fats and the quantity of food, to drink lots of water and fruit juices and avoid alcohol.
Special care must be taken to protect babies and small children, as well as the elderly and those suffering from chronic ailments.
Further information and guidelines for self-protection have been posted on the website www.civilprotection.gr and the interior ministry website: http://www.moh.gov.gr/articles/heaIth/agogiygeÎ¯as/596-Î¡rostateytika-metra-gia-ton-kayswna