World’s First Named Heatwave Has Been Called Zoe

Aisha Nozari

| Last updated 

World’s First Named Heatwave Has Been Called Zoe

Featured Image Credit: Ivan Kmit / Alamy Stock Photo / Andrew Hasson / Alamy Stock Photo

Spain announced last month that heatwaves would start being named in the same way that hurricanes are, and Zoe sent temperatures soaring in Seville this week.

The southern Spanish city is the first in the world to start naming periods of excessively hot weather, and mayor Antonio Muñoz said in June that any heatwave that reaches category 3 – which is the most severe – will be given a human name.

Heatwaves will be named in descending order of the alphabet, with Zoe up first. The next five heatwaves will be called Yago, Xenia, Wenceslao and Vega respectively. 

Heatwave Zoe sent temperatures soaring in Seville this week. Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo
Heatwave Zoe sent temperatures soaring in Seville this week. Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

In recent days, Zoe has pushed mercury past 43°C, and Muñoz hopes that by giving heatwaves a name, the risk they pose will be taken more seriously. 

Spain has been savaged by scorching temperatures in recent weeks, with wildfires sweeping the country. 

Earlier in July, a train passenger captured terrifying footage of flames raging outside their carriage, just days after 3,200 people were evacuated due to wildfires near the country’s Mijas hills.

The wildfires were ignited near Spain’s popular tourist area Málaga and fires also broke out in Galicia, Castilla y León and Extremadura.

Speaking this month about having to evacuate her home, Málaga resident Ellen McCurdy told Reuters: "We just grabbed a few essentials and just ran really, and by that stage everybody along the street was on the move... there were a lot of ambulances and fire engines."

In the west of the country, more than 5,000 hectares were lost to wildfires and highways had to be closed between Extremadura and Salamanca.

In total, Spanish wildfires were said to have spread over at least 14,000 hectares of land, with military emergency workers sent to help firefighters battle out of control flames.

More haunting footage captured in the country this month showed a man escaping a tractor in the province of Zamora after the vehicle was totally consumed by an inferno. 

According to CYLTV, the man - who survived but was seriously burned - was 50 years old and had been trying to help extinguish flames.

Both a helicopter and ambulance attended the scene and the man was put on ‘basic life support’ after being transported to the burns unit at the Rio Hortega University Hospital in Valladolid.

UNILAD approached Spanish police for comment at the time.

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

Topics: News, Weather, World News

Aisha Nozari
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