In Pictures

Europe heatwave: All-time temperature could be broken

Europe is in the middle of a heatwave, and forecasters say the all-time temperature record could be broken in the coming days.

The current European record is 48C (118.4F), set in Athens in July 1977.

Southern Spain and Portugal are both forecast to hit 47C (116.6F) on Friday and Saturday.

Pictures show shrunken lakes and dry riverbeds, along with people cooling off with water fountains and beach umbrellas, including in the Spanish town of Benidorm, below.

People cool off at the beach during the heatwave in the southeastern coastal town of Benidorm Image copyright Reuters

Spain's national weather service has put a warning in place until at least Sunday, saying the heatwave will be "especially intense and lasting in the southwest".

People cool off at the beach during the heatwave in the southeastern coastal town of Benidorm Image copyright Reuters

Here a woman cools off in a fountain in the city of Seville.

A woman refreshes herself in a fountain at Plaza de Espana, on a hot summer day in Sevilla Image copyright AFP

The Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris brought welcome relief for Parisians and visitors.

People cool themselves at the Trocadero Fountain in front of The Eiffel Tower in Paris Image copyright AFP

People also appreciated public fountains in Montpellier, France.

A woman and child cool down at a fountain in Montpellier Image copyright AFP

Temperatures in Montpellier were forecast to reach 33C (91.4F), not unusual for the time of the year.

Tourists refresh their feet in a pool during a heatwave in Montpellier Image copyright AFP

Swimmers were finding a reprieve from the heat by leaping into the Mediterranean Sea in Nice, southeastern France.

Young men leap off rocks into the Meditteranean Sea at Nice, south-eastern France Image copyright AFP

Others enjoyed the view from the safety of sunhats.

People sit on a bench while people parasail on the beach in Nice, on the French Riviera Image copyright AFP

Germany is experiencing dry conditions, resulting in a partially dried Rhine riverbed in Düsseldorf.

A family walks next to a puddle in the partially dried riverbed of Rhine, in front of the skyline of Dusseldorf, Germany Image copyright Reuters

Dry and cracked sections of the river Danube were to be found in Mariaposching, southern Germany.

The partly dried out bed of the river Danube is pictured in Mariaposching, southern Germany Image copyright Getty Images

An aerial photo in Beckum, Germany, showed water buffalo walking from a water pool onto parched earth.

Aerial photograph showing a group of water buffalo walking from a water pool onto parched earth at Beckum, Germany Image copyright AFP

In the Polish capital Warsaw, people and their pets used public sprinklers to keep cool.

People cool themselves with sprinklers during the heat wave in Warsaw Image copyright Getty Images
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People cool themselves with sprinklers during the heat wave in Warsaw Image copyright Getty Images

Warsaw's city guards gave away water to citizens.

The city guard in Warsaw gives water to citizens. Image copyright Getty Images

At the Colosseum in central Rome, Italy, visitors used fans and parasols to escape the sun and heat as temperatures approached 40C (104F).

A tourist uses a fan during a hot Summer day in front of the Ancient Colosseum in central Rome Image copyright Getty Images

Italy has issued red alerts across its centre and north, which includes the tourist hotspots of Rome, Florence and Venice.

A man holds an umbrella to protect himself from the sun during a ho Summer day in front of the Ancient Colosseum in central Rome Image copyright Getty Images

Members of the Italian Civil Protection authority distributed water bottles.

Members of the Italian Civil Protection (Protezione Civile) distribute water bottles to people in front of the Ancient Colosseum, in central Rome Image copyright Getty Images

And vending machines serving water in Rome saw heavy use, as did the city's fountains.

A nun takes water from a kiosk designed in the style of the hexagonal newspaper stands in front of the Ancient Colosseum, in central Rome Image copyright Getty Images
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A woman cools herself in a fountain near the Ara Pacis monument, in central Rome Image copyright AFP

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