Europe counts cost of heatwave, Spain PM says more than 500 died

by | Jul 20, 2022 | World

Spain’s prime minister has said more than 500 people died during a 10-day heatwave as Europe counts the cost of a record period of extreme temperatures.Climate change protesters said the scorching weather should be a wake-up call for the continent.
“This has nothing to do with ideologies, but with a reality, with a climatic emergency that the planet is living through,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
Speaking against a backdrop of charred trees and burned ground in the hard-hit northeastern Zaragoza region, he urged people to exercise “extreme caution”.
Sanchez cited figures released by the Carlos III Health Institute estimating the number of heat-related fatalities based on the number of excess deaths compared with the average in previous years.
The institute has stressed these figures are a statistical estimate and not an official record.
Firefighters battled wildfires raging out of control in Spain and France as Europe wilted under an unusually extreme heat wave that authorities in Madrid blamed for hundreds of deaths [Bernat Armangue/AP Photo]
Greek firefighters battle a wildfire raging for a second day in mountainside suburbs north of Athens [Thanassis Stavrakis/AP Photo]
Meanwhile, Greek firefighters gained the upper hand in a battle against a wildfire raging for a second day in mountainside suburbs north of Athens that had forced hundreds of people to flee, an official said.
“For the most part, the fire is in decline,” fire department spokesman Yiannis Artopios told reporters.
Greece had been spared the blistering heatwave experienced in western Europe, but flames fanned by high winds were threatening the suburbs of Penteli, Pallini, Anthousa and Gerakas, home to tens of thousands of people.
“The fire was scorching our backs, we …

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