Summer of Death


Suffering from extreme temperatures and a drastic shortage of rain, summer 2003 was the hottest and driest on record for many European countries.

By late August it had been estimated that in France alone, 5,000 died due to the intense heat—mostly among the elderly.

While temperatures soared, so did the number of wildfires across Europe, destroying over 250,000 hectares of native forest. Hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate their burning homes.

In Europe’s rivers, thousands of tons of fish died from water temperature change and dehydration, as river water levels dwindled.

Europe’s economy has been impacted by the heat wave in numerous ways. Trade along the rivers, including the Danube, slowed as barges were forced to carry lighter loads to avoid bottoming out on the riverbed. Power plants relying on water from the rivers were shut down, causing a drastic shortage of power across the Continent. River water pumps used to supply drinking water started to pump mud.

Farm lobby groups in the European Union estimated the cost of the drought at more than $6 billion. Harvests for some crops in Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Austria were as much as 60 percent below normal yields.

For more than a decade, the Trumpet has warned that extreme weather conditions are one of the prophesied signs indicating this age is nearing its end (see Rev. 6:5-8; 8:4-12). Continue to watch as weather catastrophes increase leading up to the close of this age and the subsequent ushering in of a great era of balanced weather and environmental revival (Isa. 35:1).