Published:  12:52 PM, 10 August 2019

Nearly 400 die in Netherlands heatwave

Nearly 400 die in Netherlands heatwave

Nearly 400 more people died in the Netherlands than normal during a record-breaking heatwave that swept Europe last month, the country’s statistics agency said Friday.

Dutch temperatures soared to a new high of 40.4 Celsius on July 25, breaking a record dating back to 1944 and rising above the 40 Celsius mark for the first time since records began.

In total 2,964 people died in the week from July 22 to 27, the Dutch Central Statistics Bureau said, adding: “This is almost 400 people more than in an average week in the summer period.”

“The heat wave was short, but very intense, with higher temperatures than ever measured in the Netherlands,” it said.

Most of the extra deaths were in older people, with 1,687 people aged 80 and older dying during the heatwave, 300 more than in an average summer week, the agency said.

Death rates were also higher in the eastern Netherlands where temperatures were hottest, compared to other parts of the country where it was relatively cool.

Records tumbled across Europe during the brief but blistering heatwave, with Britain, Belgium, Germany and the French capital Paris all experiencing their hottest ever days.

The soaring temperatures again focused public attention on the problems caused by climate change.-AFP


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