Morocco breaks heat record
Temperatures in Morocco have for the first time on record topped 50 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit), the North African country's meteorological service said Sunday amid a scorching heatwave.
The meteorological station in the southern coastal city of Agadir recorded on Friday the new national record of 50.4C, said the General Directorate of Meteorology.
Morocco has experienced a series of heatwaves over the summer with record-breaking temperatures.
The previous highest temperature, 49.9C in the Western Sahara city of Smara, was recorded on 13 July, according to the weather service.
"This heatwave is due to the influx of dry and hot air from the south, causing a significant rise in temperatures, surpassing the monthly average by five to 13 degrees," the meterological authority said in a statement.
The heatwave has caused wildfires in recent days in northern Morocco near Tangier and further east in Taza province, damaging forests but resulting in no casualties, AFP journalists reported.
July has been the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, according to the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service. It surpassed the previous record in July 2019 by 0.33C.
Last month in Morocco was ranked the fourth hottest July since 1961.
Weather forecasts predict a slight drop in temperatures in the coming days across the northern parts of North Africa.