Heat wave continues unabated
Temperatures around the Czech Republic reached record highs at the weekend with the highest, 39.8 degrees, Celsius registered at two municipalities outside the Czech capital. The sweltering heat has gripped the Czech Republic now for weeks. While welcomed by holiday goers, the drought comes with a cost: a severe drop in water levels, the danger of forest fires and losses in the agriculture sector.
Natural swimming pools are tested by hygiene officers on a regular basis throughout the summer to determine whether they are safe for bathers: green algae is the culprit looked out for which can be dangerous to one’s health. With the current heat wave, low water levels, a lack of rain or other replenishment, have transformed some natural swimming pools beyond recognition. News website iDnes, for example, recorded pond slime at the popular destination Máchovo jezero. In Prague, officials, meanwhile, banned swimming at the usually popular Šeberák. As a result at the weekend its grassy beach there was unusually quiet. This visitor spoke to Czech TV:
As is often the case, some ignore warnings no matter how explicit. One man had no worries about taking a dip:
“It’s not like I am eating the stuff… I don’t mind.”
Elsewhere, the heatwave has made others uncomfortable at best. Fire fighters have had to respond in numerous areas to prevent fires from spreading. Just on Sunday, seven units fought a blaze in a meadow near the town of Staré Město, in South Moravia.
The agriculture sector is also feeling the heat: losses in the cucumber crops in the area of Znojmo, famous for its pickled gerkins, are already at high levels; already it is clear that this year’s overall yield will fall far short of 2014. One producer described the situation on Czech TV:
Last year producers harvested more than 3,500 tons of cucumbers; but that number, according to current estimates, will drop to around 2,000. So while some welcome the tropical heatwave as part of their vacation, others wish it would soon end. The latter are unlikely to get their wish, though: temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius are expected to continue throughout this week, with storms only being expected in places at the weekend.