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Israelis are ‘shvitzing’ as country suffers from hottest day of year

Israel is bracing itself for the hottest day of the year on Friday, with Jerusalem expecting temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius, and Tel Aviv 38.

Other cities are also expecting extreme temperatures, including Kiryat Shmona expecting temperatures of 42-21 Celsius; Safed 36-18; Tiberias 45-21; Haifa 39-21; and Beersheba 44-19.

The south of the country will be affected more by haze and fog, according to Srugim.

Temperatures will begin to cool towards the evening when the air will become less humid.

Firefighters and rescue forces have specifically increased their vigilance and activity in the Jerusalem area, where there were fires Thursday.

On Thursday, numerous fires caused damage to several communities across central Israel including  the destruction of Moshav Mevo Modi’in.

Several of Israel’s main roads and highways remained closed over Friday as fires continued to rage, including Route 443 between Ben Shemen and Modi’in, Route 446 due to a grove that is burning, and Route 1 close to Ben Shemen.

The temperatures are expected to drop on Saturday, and it will be partially cloudy, although it will still be warmer than usual.

The last time Israel saw such unseasonably hot temperatures in May was in 2016 with Jerusalem hitting 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit) and Eilat 46 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit).

At the time, nearly 400 people were treated for heat-related illnesses and several brush fires were ignited in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, close to Modi’in, as well as on Route 90.

“The Ministry of Health calls upon the general public, the elderly population and chronically ill patients, to… avoid exposure to heat and sun as much as possible, avoid unnecessary physical exertion, make sure to drink water and stay in air-conditioned places as much as possible,” it advised.

Ilanit Chernick contributed towards this report.

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