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DAMASCUS: Firefighters battled wildfires raging in the central Syrian countryside on Tuesday (July 18) as temperatures reached 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of Syria. local civil defense officials said.

Amjad Hamad, director of the local forest protection center, told state news agency SANA that a fire had broken out on public farmland in central Hama governorate and firefighting teams were working to stop it from spreading to the surrounding area. rice field.

Another case is raging in the agricultural area of ​​neighboring Homs province, the province’s civil defense chief told SANA, adding that the “mountainous and rugged terrain” has made the civil defense team struggling to contain the outbreak. said there is.

Local broadcaster Sham FM reported that families in Almarana village were evacuated from their homes as wildfires approached.

Temperatures were up to 6 degrees Celsius above average across the country on Tuesday, with brisk gusts and “very hot clouds,” according to the state news agency.

The ancient city of Palmyra in Homs province reached 40 degrees Celsius and the capital Damascus reached 39 degrees Celsius, but chronic power outages have made it difficult for families to stay cool.

A group of women in the capital made up for the lack of air conditioning by charging portable batteries in small fans and regularly soaking their feet in cold water.

“Moving the sofa here, pouring water on the ground and turning the fan on the ground makes you feel like you are in the Maldives,” said one of them, Munira Wassouf.

Abnormal rainfall and rising heat are suspected effects of climate change already affecting Syria. In recent years, they have reduced Syria’s wheat harvest by about 75 percent from about 4 million tons a year before the war. Syria struggles to contain wildfires as temperatures rise

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