The heatwave has killed more than 1,700 people on the Iberian peninsula alone, the European office of the World Health Organization said on Friday (July 22). The Iberian Peninsula is a mountainous area that is mostly associated with Spain and Portugal.
The unprecedented heatwave has killed people and caused damage all over Europe, not just in Spain and Portugal. “Heat kills. Over the past few decades, hundreds of thousands of people have died because of long heatwaves and wildfires “Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said in a statement.
“This year, the current heatwave in Spain and Portugal have already caused more than 1,700 unnecessary deaths,” Kluge said.
The regional director also said, as reported by the news agency AFP, that extreme heat “often makes pre-existing health conditions worse.” The official also said, “People at both ends of life’s spectrum, like babies and young children, and older people, are at particular risk.”
People in most of Europe are dealing with extremely hot weather, with temperatures reaching all-time highs. This right away brings attention to the effects of global warming, as millions of people struggle in record-breaking heat.
WHO Europe said that the information they have is a rough estimate based on reports from national authorities. It said that the toll “has already gone up and will go up even more in the next few days.”