Hot weather has resulted in the death of at least 15,000 people in Europe so far this year, said the World Health Organization on Monday.
The three months from June through August were the hottest for Europe since records began, and the exceptionally high temperatures caused the worst drought the continent has seen since the Middle Ages, according to the organisation.
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As per AFP, around 24,000 excess deaths occurred in Europe during a series of heatwaves that occurred between June and July, when temperatures in Britain reached a record-breaking 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Quoting data, the WHO’s Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said that at least 15,000 deaths in 2022 were specifically related to the heat.
“Based on country data submitted so far, it is estimated that at least 15,000 people died specifically due to the heat in 2022.”
Spain and Germany are among the countries worst affected by the weather phenomenon.
Kluge noted that over the three months of the summer, health authorities reported “nearly 4,000 deaths in Spain, more than 1,000 in Portugal, more than 3,200 in the United Kingdom, and around 4,500 deaths in Germany.”
As more nations report on excessive heat-related mortality, “this estimate is expected to increase,” he warned.
The historic dry season spurred record wildfire intensity and put tremendous strain on the continent’s electricity supply, causing crops to wither in the “breadbaskets” of Europe.
(With inputs from agencies)
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