Towns and villages west of London are bracing for possible severe flooding when the Thames River is expected to peak Wednesday.

Six separate severe floods warnings are in effect. High waters are expected to inundate parts of Oxford and the town of Reading - home to thousands of London commuters.

Meanwhile, about 350,000 people in central England are without clean drinking water after floods knocked out pumps in water treatment plants. The army is handing out three million bottles of drinking water a day.

Days of heavy rain have sent major rivers spilling over their banks, causing England's worst flooding in 60 years.

In southern Europe, a top Hungarian health official says a heatwave may have killed as many as 500 people in the past week. Temperatures in some parts of Hungary have reached as high as 42 degrees Celsius.

Romania's health minister said 12 Romanians died on Monday as a heat wave grips the Balkans.

Eugen Nicolaescu Tuesday said a total of 30 heat-related deaths have been reported in the nation as a result of temperatures that have soared above 40 degrees Celsius. He added that most of the people who died Monday were elderly.

Dangerously high temperatures are also reported in Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Macedonia, and elsewhere. Greece has reported at least one heat-related fatality.

The hot weather is also fanning forest fires in Macedonia. One person died and hundreds were evacuated from the southern city of Bitola where fires are raging.