Authorities in North Macedonia urge people to take care amid unusually high June temperatures

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Authorities in North Macedonia are urging people to stay indoors when possible and avoid heavy labor in the hottest hours of the day, as the country swelters under unusually high June temperatures.

The heat exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in several parts of the small, landlocked Balkan country on Thursday.

Authorities on Wednesday imposed emergency measures through Sunday, after which the heat is expected to relent. These include ordering employers to keep pregnant women and people aged over 60 off work, banning construction work from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and keeping kindergarten classes indoors after 1 p.m.

Health officials on Thursday also reported a rise in calls to emergency responders due to heat-related health problems.

Rihad Rexhepi, a doctor from the Emergency Center in the capital, Skopje, told The Associated Press that only on Thursday morning his operators received more than 30 calls.

“That’s double as many as yesterday, and it is only for half the day,” Rexhepi said.

Officials urged people to stay at home during the peak of the heat, wear comfortable clothes and drink plenty of water.

Authorities reported an increase in wildfires, saying 12 were registered nationwide in the past 24 hours. The National Center for Crisis Management also said it had received a lot of complaints from people concerned about seeing snakes in urban centers, including Skopje.

Cooler temperatures are expected from next week.

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