Deadliest day of 2018 follows hottest day in 18 years

in News · 09-08-2018 10:53:00 · 0 Comments
Deadliest day of 2018 follows hottest day in 18 years

Last weekend saw two benchmarks set in Portugal, one for the hottest day in 18 years, on Saturday, which was swiftly followed by the day with the greatest number of deaths registered since the start of the year, on Sunday.

Last Sunday marked the highest death rate in recent summers, with 460 deaths having been registered in 24 hours, according to provisional figures.
A third of those deaths occurred within the greater Lisbon region, and Graça Freitas, director general of Health, said the number is in line with other years in which there were similar meteorological conditions.
In particular, on 8 August 2003 - the year in which Portugal was struck by a similar heatwave - when 464 deaths were recorded, and on 8 July 2013 (498). This is a “normal value for extreme temperature phenomena”, which “is within the [ranges of] values for the last few years of very hot weather”, she said.
Even so, last Sunday’s death rate was the second highest value recorded in almost two decades, since the summer of 2009, and is well above the average for the standard summer days, of 260 daily deaths.

Comparing the deaths recorded this past Sunday and those of August 5 last year shows that the deaths of 2018 are almost double (209 more deaths).
The deadliest summer’s day of the past decade was during the heatwave of 2013, when 498 people died in one day, which health experts say is normal for the extreme temperatures that Portugal experiences.
The over-75s make up the majority of heat-related deaths.
This followed the hottest day of the past 18 years, on Saturday, when 339 deaths were registered and temperatures officially peaked in Portugal at 46.8 degrees Celsius, in Alvega, Setúbal, although other thermometers throughout the county registered even higher figures.
Lisbon also registered the hottest day since records began, on Saturday, when weather stations in the city saw the mercury climb to 44 degrees Celsius, surpassing the city’s previous record of 43 set in 1981. The hot, dusty conditions across the Iberian Peninsula are the result of a mass of hot air from Africa.
In 73 of the 96 weather stations on mainland Portugal, the temperature was equal to or above 40 degrees Celsius, this Saturday.
In 16 of these, the figures exceeded 45 degrees Celsius.


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