While the wildfire threat reduced as temperatures dropped, Spanish firefighters were tackling nine blazes
A firefighting plane drops water near Tabara, north-west Spain, on Wednesday
Spain’s Ministry of Health reported on Wednesday that 679 people had lost their lives in the first eight days (July 10-17) of the second heatwave that hit the country this summer. The Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) said that 169 deaths occurred on July 17 alone. According to the institute, 430 of the 679 victims were aged 85 or over, 159 were between 75 and 84 years of age and 58 were between 65 and 74 years.
While the wildfire threat reduced as temperatures dropped, there were no outbreaks in Portugal but French firefighters started to get the upper hand over two major blazes. Spanish firefighters were tackling nine blazes, with two said to be especially dangerous in northwestern Galicia. Some of the 11,000 people evacuated because of the fires in Spain began returning home, and a major highway in the northwestern Zamora province reopened after two days.
Villagers walk past burnt houses in A Veiga de Cascalla, northern Spain, on Tuesday. Pics/AP, AFP
Temperatures above 40 C (104 F) and a drought have worsened Spain’s wildfires this year. Thursday’s highest temperature in Spain was forecast to be 32 C (90 F). The second heatwave of the summer ended with slightly lower temperatures on Tuesday, but this promises to be a brief respite, with temperatures expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius again in much of the country before the weekend.
In France, more than a week of round-the-clock battling against ferocious flames by more than 2,000 firefighters and up to 10 water-dropping planes was slowly winning out against two major wildfires in tinder-dry pine forests in southwest France. The Gironde region’s fire service said both blazes, which forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, were contained.
Firefighters look at a fire in the village of Tabara, near Zamora, northwest Spain Monday. Pic/AFP
Some 100 million Americans from New York City to Las Vegas are under heat warnings this week as temperatures rise well above 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), part of a trend of extreme weather made worse by climate change. New York City temperatures are expected to reach 99 F and temperatures are also expected to break daily records across Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, the National Weather Service (NWS) said on Wednesday. An NWS advisory for Dallas, Texas, where the temperature was forecast to reach 112 F (44.4 C), cautioned against strenuous activity in peak heat hours and reminded people to stay hydrated. Agencies
Approx number of deaths due to current heatwave in Europe