Heatwave kills hundreds in Spain and Portugal
Hundreds of people have died due to heat in Spain and Portugal over the past week as Europe continues to battle temperatures of above 40C.
In Spain, 510 people fell victim to the heatwave between July 10 and July 16, Spain’s Carlos III Institute’s numbers show.
On Monday, heat in certain areas of the country exceeded 43 degrees. According to officials, ongoing forest fires caused by the heat have destroyed between 12,000 and 15,000 hectares and prompted the evacuation of about 3,000 people.
In Portugal, extreme temperatures claimed the lives of 659 people over the past week, most of whom were elderly.
The country is also suffering from devastating wildfires. On July 15, a pilot died in a crash involving a firefighting plane.
France and Greece are also experiencing temperatures of over 40 degrees. The French Health Ministry has not shared information on heat-wave casualties so far but is expected to do so at the end of the month. On Wednesday, the heat is expected to decrease both in France and in the neighboring UK.
In Britain, last night was officially the hottest on record with the temperature reaching 25.8 degrees Celsius. On Tuesday, temperatures in the UK breached 40C for the first time since 1922, when records began. At 12.50pm, the meteorological office recorded 40.2C at Heathrow Airport. The UK National Health Service warned of inevitable deaths from heat-related causes.
As temperatures continue to soar in many areas, Britons have been warned to travel only when “absolutely necessary.” Due to a large number of fires in the capital, the London Fire Brigade has declared a “major incident.”.