7th December 2023
Barcelona News Catalonia News Madrid News Main News

Deaths from heat stroke & dehydration soared in Spain during last summer

Spain’s record-breaking heatwaves of 2022, the hottest year on record, caused more than 350 deaths from heatstroke and dehydration and was a decisive factor in a 20.5% increase in mortality, official figures have shown this week.

The National Statistics Institute (INE) said in a statement that 157,580 people died in the summer months between May-August last year, which is 26,849 more than in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Among the causes of deaths directly related to the heat were heatstroke (122 cases compared with 47 in 2019) and dehydration (233 cases compared to 109),’ the INE said.

Heat can kill by inducing heatstroke, which damages the brain, kidneys and other organs, but it can also trigger other conditions such as a heart attack or breathing problems.

Many of the extra deaths were ‘due to prior chronic pathologies identified as at risk during high temperatures’, the institute said. Deaths due to high blood pressure related conditions increased by 36.9%.

Also higher were deaths from diabetes, up 31.2%, and dementia and early-onset dementia, which jumped by 19.8%.

Spain has already experienced its first summer heatwave of this year, which on Monday pushed the mercury to 44.4 C in the Huelva province of Andalusia.

So far, two people have died as a result of the heat, officials said. Last Saturday, a 47-year-old man collapsed with sunstroke while working in the fields in Aznalcollar, a small town near the southern city of Seville. Officials said he had pre-existing health issues.

And a farmer died of heatstroke on Monday while working in his vineyard in Cinco Casas, a village some 160 km south of Madrid, the local mayor told Cadena Ser radio.

Spain has banned outdoor work during periods of extreme heat after the death of a municipal worker in Madrid last summer and set legal maximum and minimum temperatures for workplaces.

Temperatures were slightly lower on Tuesday than they had been on Monday but still over 40C in parts of the country. The intense heat was expected to last until Thursday.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, Europe is the world’s fastest-warming continent, and experts say Spain is likely to be one of the countries worst hit by climate change.

Although it has become accustomed to soaring summer temperatures, notably in the south, Spain has experienced an uptick in longer and hotter heatwaves and a worrying shortage of rainfall.

ALSO READ: First official heatwave of the year in Spain, with temperatures expected up to 44C.

ALSO READ: This year’s Spring has been the hottest and second driest on record in Spain.

ALSO READ: Confirmed: 2022 was Spain’s hottest year on record.

Sign up for the FREE Weekly Newsletter from Spain in English.

Please support Spain in English with a donation.

Click here to get your business activity or services listed on our DIRECTORY.

Click here for further details on how to ADVERTISE with us.

Recent Posts

Two US embassy staff expelled by Spain over spying dispute

News Desk

11 arrests, as police seize 260,000 litres of unconsumable ‘extra virgin oil’

News Desk

Queen Letizia’s former brother-in-law claims he had an affair with her

News Desk

Spain arrests two intelligence agents who allegedly passed secrets to the USA

News Desk

Spanish media association files €550m lawsuit against Meta over data protection

News Desk

Telefónica to cut 5,100 jobs in Spain by 2026 – approximately 25% of workforce

News Desk

Leave a Comment