Extreme heatwave in Portugal caused 1,063 deaths

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MADRID, July 21: Heatwave in Portugal is estimated to have claimed the lives of 1,063 people between July 7 and 18, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported according to the Portuguese Health Ministry.

Although the data is provisional, the excess mortality spiked amid one of Portugal’s worst heat waves on record, which brought the country’s highest ever temperature for July: 47 degrees Celsius (116.6 Fahrenheit).

The intense heatwave also provoked wildfires that charred 45,467 hectares of land, according to provisional data released by the environmental institute ICNF on Wednesday.

That means that in just 13 days, 60 per cent more hectares were charred in the country than in all of 2021 combined.

Two firefighters and one civilian also died in the blazes, and more than 135 people were injured.

Environment Minister Duarte Cordeiro told parliament that the country is also suffering from “extreme drought” and asked citizens to cut back on water use.

He said preparing the nation for the consequences of climate change “will take a generation.”

In the same heat wave, neighbouring Spain attributed 678 deaths to scorching temperatures. -TVS

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