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Europe sweltered through an intense heatwave on Sunday, with soaring temperatures contributing to forest fires, nuclear plants closing and even threatening the Netherlands' supply of fries, although some countries experienced a slight respite.

Europe is experiencing a heatwave that has brought drought and wildfires from Greece to Sweden.

Portugal's weather service said the capital reached 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday afternoon, surpassing the city's previous record of 43 C (109.4 F) set in 1981.

A major fire broke out on Friday in Monchique, in Algarve, consuming more than 1,000 hectares of forest and forcing evacuations from one village. Authorities deployed 130 soldiers to help with the efforts.

Footage taken overnight by locals living in Monchique, a favourite of former PM David Cameron and his family who regular stay at a luxury property close to the market town, showed a blanket of flames and smokes encroaching on buildings in the outskirts.

A female orangutan covers her head with a sheet on a warm summer day at Madrid´s zoo on August 4, 2018.

Six people were injured late Saturday as they escaped a separate blaze near the Portuguese town of Estremoz, civil protection officer Jose Ribeiro told the Portuguese state television RTP. That blaze has since been put out. The weather service IPMA predicted 42C in the capital on Sunday and a maximum of 44C in the central-east interior.

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Seeking to prevent more deaths after 114 people were killed in two massive forest blazes a year ago in Portugal, civil protection sent mobile text alerts warning the population of an extreme risk of fires in some regions, including around the capital Lisbon.

Highs of 33C (89.6F) are possible on Tuesday, with south Lincolnshire and north Norfolk expected to be the hottest parts of the country.

The heat is expected to stick around for a few days, with hot air from Africa's Sahara Desert bringing not only the heat, but also dust particles.

In another sign of drought, water levels in the Danube River in Budapest are about to fall to a level that will expose a small outcrop called Dearth Rock that is nearly always underwater, the National Water Management Authority said. Wheat fields have been devastated across northern Europe, driving up prices.

The conditions played a part in the deaths of two men, one in Barcelona and the other in the southern region of Murcia, according to Spanish authorities.

In the coastal resort area of Cascais, outside Lisbon, a power network overload due to heavy use of air conditioning caused a blackout on Friday night, leaving tens of thousands of people without power for several hours and shutting a large shopping mall. Authorities warned of extreme risk of wildfires again this weekend.


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