Heat forces Greek authorities to shut down Acropolis during afternoon hours


Authorities in Greece are closing down the Acropolis in Athens during the afternoon on Thursday for a second day as the country swelters under unseasonably high temperatures.

The Culture Ministry said the hilltop citadel, which is Greece's most popular ancient site, would be closed from midday to 5 p.m. (0900-1400 GMT) because of the heat.

All other archaeological sites in the Greek capital will be closed during the same hours. People who have booked visits for that period can use their tickets later in the day, the ministry said.

Temperatures are expected to exceed 40 C (104 F) on Thursday in much of central and southern Greece, including greater Athens, the Cyclades islands and Crete.

Officials are on heightened alert for wildfires, which plague Greece every summer.

Authorities in Athens are providing air-conditioned areas to the public and have issued fans to secondary schools where end-of-year and university entrance exams are being held.

The weather is expected to cool Friday and Saturday.

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