A Heatwave sweeping the country and forcing temperatures into the mid-40s is about to end but has already caused six deaths – two each in the provinces of Tarragona and Murcia and one each in those of Barcelona and Cáceres (Extremadura).
Additionally, the death of a 40-year-old German man walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail is being investigated and may have been the result of extreme temperatures.
A man was found unconscious on Thursday in Constantí, Tarragona, near the Centcelles Roman heritage site and died two days later in the Joan XXIII Hospital, whilst on Saturday a 60-year-old man was also admitted and passed away later that evening – both from heatstroke.
Both may have been homeless and neither had any ID, so police are trying to identify them.
An 81-year-old man from Catalunya living in Miajadas (Cáceres province) died on Sunday from heatstroke and another 10 have been rushed to A&E in Cáceres city, of whom eight were admitted to hospital.
A middle-aged man with no ID on him was found dead on the street in Barcelona on Friday with blood pouring from his mouth as a result of the heat.
He is also believed to be homeless, highlighting the extreme risk faced by street-dwellers during exceptional summer temperatures.
Record heat saw the mercury shoot up to 46ºC in Badajoz, Extremadura and the highest temperature in the country so far has been in El Granado, Huelva province, at 46.6ºC.
Spain’s all-time record was last year, in the province of Córdoba, when thermometers soared to 47.4ºC.
Today (Monday) was expected to see the beginning of the end of the heatwave which started in earnest on August 1, although temperatures on the Mediterranean reached over 37ºC.
But the next three days are expected to gradually cool down, with more ‘normal’ August temperatures seen by Friday or Saturday.
Spain is still on red-alert for forest fires and residents and visitors are warned not to throw cigarette butts from car windows or drop them in grassy areas, to avoid barbecues, bonfires and fireworks and, if possible, not to use chainsaws or other tools which could cause sparks.
Holidaymakers not used to the heat of this intensity are urged to limit their time in the sun during the hottest part of the day, typically from around 14.00 to 17.00, wear a head covering and always take large amounts of water with them.
Physical activity, including hiking – especially in mountainous areas where the sun is more intense – should be avoided at all costs or only undertaken in the early hours of the morning or late in the evening.