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Greek Heatwave Kills Two

A heatwave in Greece has killed two pensioners and pushed demand for eletricitity to new all-time highs, officials and news reports said on Monday.

With air-conditioning and fans at full swing electricity consumption reached a peak of 10,603 Megawatts, far ahead of the previous record of 9,955 MWe recorded last August, leading to calls for restraint from the authorities.

"I call on housewives not to operate their appliances simultaneously between (peak hours of) 11am and 3pm," said Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas.

Hospitals around the country have been placed on alert and municipalities are keeping cooled public facilities open for those without air-conditioning at home, but heatstroke already claimed the lives of an 84-year-old woman in the western town of Egio and a 76-year-old man in Farsala, central Greece.

Temperatures were expected to reach 43 degrees Celsius (109.4 Fahrenheit) in some areas on Monday and will remain around that level during the week, the Greek weather service (EMY) said.

The government said it would send civil servants home early on Tuesday and Wednesday to save energy.

The heatwave is expected to abate starting Thursday.


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