679 people in Spain died in extreme heatwave

by Lorraine Williamson
intense heat

The 2nd heatwave is one of the top 3 most extreme heatwaves in Spain since 1976. The heat has now resulted in 679 deaths. Although it is a few degrees cooler in Spain on Wednesday, a large part of the country will touch at least 40 degrees again from Thursday. 

Over the past nine days, the average temperature in Spain has been between 39 and 45 degrees. With the ‘temperature dip’ on Wednesday, theheat wave will only end in theory for the time being. Temperatures will drop slightly today (only 2 to 6 degrees lower than the previous period). However, high temperatures are forecast again on Thursday. Furthermore, this is expected to be around and above 40 degrees in a large part of the country. 

July 2022 heatwave in top 3 most extreme heatwaves in Spain 

Although the Spanish newspaper El País speaks of a goodbye to the second heat wave of 2022, the Spanish weather service, the Aemet, is not yet sure whether it will be two separate heatwaves or whether the current heatwave will last even longer. According to the Aemet, the last second heatwave of this year ranks among the top 3 most extreme in terms of size, duration and intensity since the measurements started in 1976. 

679 deaths in first week of heatwave 

It has not gone unnoticed that the extreme heat has caused casualties in the past two weeks. The health institute Carlos III, which falls under the Ministry of Health, has reported no fewer than 679 deaths attributable to the high temperatures in the first period of the current heatwave, from July 10 to 17. 

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Of the 679 people killed by the heat, some 430 are over the age of 85, 159 are between the ages of 75 and 84, and 58 are between the ages of 65 and 74. The other deaths are believed to be under the age of 65, including cleaner José Antonio González who died after working outside for hours at nearly 40 degrees in polyester work clothes and winter boots. 

First heatwave of 2022 caused more than 800 deaths 

The first heatwave recorded in Spain this year occurred on June 11 and lasted eight days. This turned out to be the earliest heatwave in Spain since 1981. According to Institute Carlos III, there were 829 deaths this month as a result of the heat. 

Dehydration and the combination of the heat with chronic illness are some of the factors that can rapidly worsen people’s health. As a result, the heat can eventually be fatal. Health authorities again emphasise to drink enough and to look for cool and shady places or places where there is air conditioning for as long as possible. 

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