Extreme weather in Europe

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The Independent Online

Of 96 regional départements, 51 have bans and limits. In the west, water levels are at their lowest since the drought of 1976, and in the south, swarms of locusts have attacked crops. President Jacques Chirac has appealed for water conservation. He asked businesses and farmers in particular to pay attention to the restrictions, and asked everybody to "make an effort to limit abusive and unnecessary use of water."

SPAIN

Suffering worst drought since records began in the 1940s. Much of the country is a tinderbox and fires raged in several regions at the weekend. The driest winter and spring in 60 years have reduced some reservoirs by 80 per cent. Rivers at a third of normal volume. Centre and south believed to have lost half the cereal crop.

PORTUGAL

Taps could soon run dry in the tourist-packed Algarve. Two-thirds of the country is in the grip of a record drought. After a week of forest fires, there are fears of a repeat of a similar dry spell two years ago, when wildfires killed 20 people. Farmland is turning arid, damaging crops and cattle. Losses are estimated at €1bn.

GERMANY

Floods have struck after days of heavy rainfall.

AUSTRIA

Hit by major floods.

CROATIA

Gale-force winds and heavy rain brought floods to Dubrovnik's old town, forcing people to wade through medieval squares.

BULGARIA

Authorities declared "critical" situations for 11 communities hit by heavy rain. At least five people killed.

ROMANIA

A girl, 10, killed after being struck by lightning. Floods in 11 counties across the west, centre and east.

Robin Stringer

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