The Heat Is Online

East Europe heat wave -- Aug., 1998

"Heat wave continues to flatten east Europe" Boston Globe, Aug. 5, 1998

BUCHAREST, Romania -(AP) The worst heat wave in a half-century has swept eastern Europe, causing a reported 20 deaths in Romania and sending people plunging into fountains and standing-room-only pools in search of relief.

From Bucharest to Budapest, the region was sizzling again yesterday under record temperatures, hitting close to the 104-degree mark for a third week.

Prison convicts in the Romanian town of Braila refused to work yesterday, citing a 1986 order that gives them a reprieve when temperatures top 95 degrees.

Hungarians were consuming ice cream in record amounts, forcing the country's largest producer to schedule three shifts to meet the demand.

In Bucharest, where the murcury has hit at least 97 degrees every day since early July, residents plunged in fountains, lakes even the dirty Dambovita River.

Hospitals in the city of 3 million were crowded with people who had suffered strokes, heart attacks or sunstroke, or who had fainted in the scorching heat.