European Heatwave Death Toll Passes 1,000

Shola Lee

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European Heatwave Death Toll Passes 1,000

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

The heat-related death toll in Europe has passed 1,000 as heatwaves, record-breaking temperatures and wildfires continue.

The UK isn't the only country in the grips of a scorching heatwave, as much of Europe is also battling extreme weather conditions.

France, Greece, Portugal and Spain has seen mass evacuations, with authorities struggling to contain huge wildfires.

And tragically, over 1,000 heatwave-related deaths have been recorded this past week, Reuters reports, as countries across Europe see 'abnormally high' temperatures.

People have been forced to evacuate their homes in parts of Portugal. Credit: Alamy
People have been forced to evacuate their homes in parts of Portugal. Credit: Alamy

In Spain, military emergency workers were sent to help firefighters battling out of control wildfires. The wildfires are said to have spread over at least 14,000 hectares of land, with masses of people being evacuated.

Amongst them was an elderly couple, both British ex-pats, who had to flee as the fire approached their home.

"It was very fast... I didn’t take it too seriously. I thought they had it under control and I was quite surprised when it seemed to be moving in our direction," William McCurdy explained to Reuters.

The next thing they knew, the couple were forced to evacuate, which was similarly the case in France, where over 14,000 people were evacuated.

Many were forced to sleep in emergency shelters to escape the inferno, with fire official Eric Florensan telling the France-Bleu radio station about their strategy for dampening the flames: "We have to stay very prudent and very humble, because the day will be very hot.

Authorities worked tirelessly to keep the blazes contained. Credit: Alamy
Authorities worked tirelessly to keep the blazes contained. Credit: Alamy

"We have no favourable weather window," he added, as reported by The Guardian.

At the same time, the Greek island of Crete rushed to quell flames but luckily on Saturday 16 July, authorities were said to have had the fire partly contained.

Meanwhile, Italy is facing its worst drought in 70 years, as the country's longest river, Po Valley began to dry up.

News of fires across Europe comes as the UK is in the midst of an unprecedented heatwave, with temperatures potentially reaching highs of 40 in some parts of the country.

The Met Office issued a red weather warning to the UK, which alerts people to 'population-wide adverse health effects' and a 'high risk of failure' to heat-sensitive systems, which includes potential power cuts and drops in water services.

Extreme heat has been seen over much of Europe. Credit: Alamy
Extreme heat has been seen over much of Europe. Credit: Alamy

People are currently being advised to keep their curtains closed on windows that face the sun to avoid letting in unnecessary heat.

While the red warning for extreme heat means everyone's health is now at risk, checking in on those most vulnerable to hot weather is more important than ever before.

Be sure to stay hydrated over the next few days, plan your journeys, and keep as cool as possible.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, Weather, UK News, Climate Change

Shola Lee
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