‘More than 500 died’ from heatwave in Spain: PM Sanchez

MADRID: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday (Jul 20) that “more than 500 people” died during a 10-day heatwave in Spain, one of the most intense ever recorded in the country.

Sanchez cited figures released on Monday from the Carlos III Health Institute which estimates the number of heat-related deaths based on the number of excess deaths when compared to the average in previous years.

The institute has stressed that these figures are a statistical estimate and not a record of official deaths.

“During this heatwave, more than 500 people died because of such high temperatures, according to the statistics,” Sanchez said.

“I ask citizens to exercise extreme caution,” he said, noting that the “climate emergency is a reality”.

Spain was gripped by a heatwave affecting much of Western Europe which pushed temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celsius in some regions last week, sparking dozens of wildfires.