Relief eludes Europe

PARIS aug. 10. Alpine glaciers melt, unleashing a cascade of rocks and endangering hikers. With wildfires raging in seven countries, the Pope urges people to pray for rain. A French toddler dies of exposure in a sweltering parked car.

Europe sizzled this weekend, and there was no immediate relief in sight for much of the continent. The heat broke records on Sunday in Britain and Germany. With the mercury hovering in the mid-30s Celsius for days, more than 40 deaths have been blamed on the heat.

In the French Alps, a police officer warned hikers about rock avalanches along a popular route on Mont Blanc. Glacial ice is melting, loosening rocks from the mountainside. On Saturday, helicopters swooped into the area to evacuate 44 climbers in danger, mountain police said.

In more arid regions, wildfires have blackened forests in Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Croatia and the Netherlands.