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Friday, 14 July, 2000, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Heatwave hell: how are you coping?

Fires are still burning on the Greek resort of Samos as southern Europe continues to swelter in a blistering heatwave.

Hundreds of forest fires have blazed in the region and dozens of people have been killed as the temperatures have soared past 44 C (111 F).

If you are in the region we want to hear your experiences of the heatwave. How are you coping with the scorching heat? What are you doing to cool down?


If it's sunny rejoice, if it's miserable live with it

Vicki Stearman, England
I completely agree with Mr Keith Yallop, there needs to be more information regarding the heat and the current situation. My parents are in Greece at the moment (Thassos) and have a fire progressing over the mountain about 2 miles away from them. I'm sure the tour reps out there and the authorities will do everything they can to ensure all persons are safe, but you can't help worrying. As for the digs about the British summers, take it as it is, if it's sunny rejoice, if it's miserable live with it, I'd rather do that than fear being burnt to a crisp (literally)!
Vicki Stearman, England

We have no sun in Germany. At the moment it won't stop raining. I feel like I never left England!
Emma ( English), Germany

I live in Zürich, and this weekend I will deal with the temperature by taking my snowboard up one of the nearby mountains which has been blessed with July snow for the first time in years.
Jonathan King, Switzerland (Brit)

What concerns me is that so many of these fires have been started deliberately. The government must take a hard stand and make sure there is no benefit in starting fires. A destroyed green belt should not be available for development, period. This would inevitably rid the arsonist of any incentive.
Nick Lemis, UK (Greek)

The key question is the humidity

Hugh Cullen, Spain
The key question is the humidity. I live in Madrid where 40 degrees centigrade is common in the summer. However, the humidity is very low so this heat is bearable. I find the UK on the rare occasions when the temperature exceeds 25 degrees to be far worse due to the high humidity.
Hugh Cullen, Spain

Please please send some heat here! Its cloudy and miserable what a summer!
Lazaros Filippidis, UK (Greek)

Heatwave? First time in a long time that I can recall wearing a jumper in July. Have I missed something?
Roy Chapman, UK / Germany

Humans have misused all natural resources without caring about mother nature. The incidents like these will go on increasing the more we humans continue to harm the nature out of our greed.
Prasad Kothare, INDIA

Whinge, whinge, whinge. It's too hot - it's too cold - get a life be satisfied take life as it comes think of all the people around the world that would love to be able to just walk, be rid of cancer, or suffer other ailments and build on what you have got, not what you would like.
Vic Parrott, London England

The London Underground has been known to hit 100 degrees and sickening levels of humidity

Peter B, UK
The London Underground has been known to hit 100 degrees and sickening levels of humidity. The difference is that for as long as you are stuck on the overcrowded trains you can't just go indoors for a cold drink.
Peter B, UK

What we actually need is some half-decent information from institutions such as ABTA, the tour operators, Foreign Office, media etc. It's all very well having the fires extinguished but the effects on the infrastructure and local people could easily have had a serious effect on tourists on the island. My family is due to fly out in a few days, and we are still uncertain whether to go or not. We suspect that the situation could be much worse than is being portrayed. How can we make an informed choice when we have such an absence of information?
Keith Yallop, England

How am I coping with the scorching temperatures? I turn the central heating off and it soon cools down to the point where winter sweaters are required again!
Guy Chapman, UK

Fires and heat exhaustion may be the immediate danger but everybody should be additionally cautious of contracting skin cancer when exposed to excessive sunlight. I have read that it is one of the most active forms of cancers once contracted. So people should protect themselves and their children at the expense of sunbathing in these conditions.
Steve, UK

Yesterday I packed my Factor 58 sun cream and headed off to a deserted beach. Marvellous! I did however suffer second degree burns on 90% of my body and had a very uncomfortable night.
Ed, Brit in Italy

I learnt that coping with heat is all in the mind as physically the human body can cope with it quite well

Han de Min, UK
After 10 years in Oman in the Middle East where near the Empty Quarter temperatures reached 50C and on the coast 48C, with a relative humidity of 95%, any so-called European heatwave seems quite bearable. I learnt that coping with heat is all in the mind as physically the human body can cope with it quite well.
Han de Min, UK

I just came back from a wonderful fortnight in Greece (Halkidiki). I think that the British media overreacted about the heat. It was very hot but not unbearable. I enjoyed it very much.
Fraser Carter, UK

I have lived in Madras and hence I don't feel as much heat in New Jersey, US.
Mohamed Siraj, USA

It has been a mild summer so far in New York City (typically 85C). The humidity has been bearable, but I'm reserving judgment until August arrives. I believe these increased temperatures are a direct result of global warming.
Lisa Kalscheur, New York, NY, USA

We are working in Monterrey continually in temperatures higher than that!
Lee Bridges, Mexico

Global warming in Home Counties England in mid July? You could have fooled me! It's like a day in late April, windy with some showers. Looking at past history, we have had cold periods and warm ones - the world has coped. I feel this is just more scare mongering from the nutcase Green fraternity, a small and unrepresentative minority who are given too much attention and credence these days.
Steve Foley, England

I am off to Samos in two weeks and although there is obviously a problem in Samos I have been in daily contact with a well respected tour company and am assured there is no problem at the coastal resorts. this was backed up from the tv chat with tourists in the region on Wednesday evening. The heat is supposed to subside to a normal 33-35 degrees in a few days.
Richard S, UK

As I write this, the temperature outside is over 100 degrees. Last year here in Abilene, we had over 30 consecutive days of +100 degrees. Some people say "yeah, but it's a dry heat". Yeah right! Hot is hot!!! I still carry on with yardwork, cycling and things like that. We have very low humidity here and that can be dangerous, you can dehydrate easily, often without realising it, so you have to drink a heck of a lot of liquids. I do like the sunshine though!!
John Griffith, Texas, USA

It is sounding very much like the US spoilt brat attitude of a lawyer's paradise

Richard Lemon, UK
I go to Sicily often where the temperatures can reach 45C during the summer months. Also from July to September fires are a regular feature of the landscape. People often go to hot countries in search of warm sun. I think it is a cheek to then hold tour operators (for all their sins!) responsible for what is a feature of the country they chose to visit. It is sounding very much like the US spoilt brat attitude of a lawyer's paradise.
Richard Lemon, UK

I also have been sold a holiday to Samos and the company is refusing to give me a refund or to allow me to change destination. I think this is incredible as night after night I see fires on the television. What sort of holiday am I supposed to have? Am I supposed to fly to Samos and stay in my Hotel room? I think it is a disgrace and potentially a dangerous situation.
Sean Monaghan, England

If you want to see hot you should come and see what Texas is like.
Roger K, USA

I'm off to Greece tomorrow morning, and the travel agents are still saying it's OK to travel...

Martha, Scotland
I'm off to Greece tomorrow morning, and the travel agents are still saying it's OK to travel.... Having lived in Australia for a few years, I'm fairly confident of being able to cope with the heat, but those with small children, and/or not used to the heat will obviously really suffer. Maybe other options should be offered by holiday companies, like air conditioning being made available, etc.
Martha, Scotland

Though I am from North India but still we are experiencing one of the worst summers I have seen in my life. It is sizzling hot, we sweat the whole day. People wait for night to get some relief.
Anantdeep Dhillon, India

Heatwave? What heatwave!
James, UK

Can we set up some big fans to blow the hot air over here?
Richard, UK

I'm coping with the European heat by staying in the UK where so far this summer it's been wet and windy in the day and bone-chilling at night. Can't we have some of this heatwave please?
Mr Steve, UK

I live in Southern Europe and it's not hot here.
Stuart Duncanson, N.E Spain

I was sold a holiday to Samos at the beginning of this week. The company concerned is still selling holidays to this island even though there is a state of national emergency. When I contacted ABTA, they said I couldn't get my money back unless the Foreign Office in Britain issued a warning. I think it's absolutely disgraceful that this company should be allowed to sell holidays to an island where 4000 acres have been destroyed and the fires are far from being extinguished.
Tara Geraghty, England

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See also:

12 Jul 00 | Europe
Resort blaze 'under control'
07 Jul 00 | Health
The health risks of a heatwave
06 Jul 00 | Europe
Dozens die in Balkan heatwave

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