It's a heatwave!

Temperatures have been in excess of 25°C for at least five days and this meets the Belgian conditions for a heatwave.The temperature at the Royal Meteorological Institute in Ukkel (Brussels) reached 30°C on Thursday for the third day in a row. 

In order for a heatwave to be declared in Belgium the temperature must rise above 30°C for three days in a five day period in which highs of 25°C or more are recorded.  Officially, Belgium has been experiencing a heatwave since 22 July.

The heat is being felt across the country.  In Charleroi, in southern Belgium, Red Cross workers are handing out water at the airport to travellers affected by the Ryanair strike.  The Red Cross is also distributing water to the homeless in the big cities across Belgium.

The organisation representing water companies is urging people to be sparing with water.  A hose pipe ban is in force in East and West Flanders and Antwerp.  There are also restrictions in 15 municipalities in Flemish Brabant.  In Limburg the ban only applies to tap water.

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