A Record Heatwave Forces Greece to Close the Acropolis

Those wishing to visit the Acropolis in Athens, Greece this week are out of luck, as the ancient site has been closed due to a record heatwave since Wednesday. As the nation grapples with another record-setting heatwave, the 3,000-year-old complex shut down to protect workers and tourists alike.

Today, the temperatures are supposed to set a record high climbing from 105.8°F on Wednesday to 107.6°F on Thursday, the New York Times reported. The country’s health ministry has issued a warning to older people and those with chronic ailments to stay indoors during this time. Outside workers were recommended to avoid strenuous activities between 12pm and 5pm. Temperatures are expected to drop on Friday.

On Wednesday, members of the Hellenic Red Cross could be seen handing out water bottles and sunscreen to the unhoused, while city authorities offered a few air-conditioned locations for those needing to cool down. These efforts also came with advice from the health ministry on how to treat heat stroke.

Additionally, authorities closed primary schools across many parts of the country, along with the Acropolis from 12pm to 5pm. This announcement came after a tourist fainted while standing in line to see the monument on Tuesday.

Similar restrictions were issued last year, but not this early in the season. These high temperatures have raised concerns following wildfires in Greece last summer, which resulted in more than 20 deaths and razed a large part of the country’s forests. As a result, 24-hour patrols were also undertaken by the civil protection authority and the army, monitoring notable woods this week.

Last year’s heatwave negatively impacted some of Greece’s tourism, though they still grossed record revenue numbers for the year. Though Greece is hardly alone, with climate change globally creating radical shifts in the weather and temperature.

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