Europe on fire: 238 deaths due to heat in Portugal in just one week

Fires have swept across Europe over the past two weeks (Photo: EPA / AFP)

At least 238 people have died last week from record-breaking heat in Portugal.

Most of the victims were elderly people with underlying conditions, which are particularly vulnerable to the scorching sun, the country’s health ministry said.

Temperatures near 50 ° C in the city of Pinhao on Thursday – a July record – and five regions were warned on red on Friday.

Fires have continued over Portugal, neighboring Spain, France and Croatia in the last 10 days, forcing the evacuations of thousands of residents and tourists.

More than 3,000 firefighters have been battling to contain the blaze – fueled by strong winds – in Portugal.

Wildfires have destroyed about 30,000 acres of land this year alone.

A firefighter tackles a forest fire around the village of Eiriz in Baiao, northern Portugal (Photo: AFP)
More than 3,000 firefighters battled to contain flames (Photo: AFP)
A volunteer uses a tree branch to prevent a forest fire from reaching houses in Casal da Quinta, outside Leiria, central Portugal (Photo: AP)

Meanwhile, an airplane battling forest fires in its Braganca region crashed on Friday, killing his pilot, the civil defense said.

It was the first confirmed death in Portugal’s fires this year, which injured more than 160 people this week.

Across the border, temperature-related deaths also increased in Spain.

According to the Carlos III Institute, which records daily deaths for temperature, 237 deaths were attributed to high temperatures of July 10-14.

That was compared to 25 the previous week.

Firefighters rest on the ground after spending the night on shift in the Alvaiazere Mountains (Photo: Getty)
A plane drops water on a wildfire near Bustelo, east of Amarante, northern Portugal (Photo: AFP)

The land also struggled to contain several fires, including two that burned about 7,400 acres.

In southern Andalusia, 3,000 people were evacuated from villages.

About 200 firefighters, supported by 18 planes, are fighting the fire, the cause of which is being investigated by the authorities.

Gemma Suarez, a Spanish farmer evacuated from Casas de Miravete, sobbed when she told Reuters: ‘What a night. We did not sleep all night.

‘A social worker came to see me to pick up my older uncle. We spent the night in Navalmoral, but we did not sleep at all. I’ve never seen such a big fire before. ‘

Some 14,000 people were also evacuated from the French Gironde region yesterday afternoon.

“We have a fire that will continue to spread as long as it is not stabilized,” Vincent Ferrier, deputy prefect of Langon in Gironde, told a news conference.

Wildfires have also been reported in Croatia and Hungary this week, amid fears that the dry weather will destroy even more parts of Europe.

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Europe on fire: 238 deaths due to heat in Portugal in just one week

Source link Europe on fire: 238 deaths due to heat in Portugal in just one week

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