Science

The heat has claimed the lives of 1,700 people in Spain and Portugal.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe announced on Friday that the heat wave hitting Europe has caused 1,700 deaths in the Iberian Peninsula alone and called for a concerted effort to combat climate change. Contacting AFP, the UN organization explains that this figure is a preliminary estimate based on data from national authorities. The organization added that this figure “already increased” and “will continue to increase in the coming days.” According to the WHO, the true heat-related figure will not be known for several weeks. “Heat kills. In recent decades, hundreds of thousands of people have died from extreme heat during extended periods of heat waves, often coinciding with wildfires,” Hans Kluge, Director of WHO Europe, said in a statement. “This year we have already witnessed more than 1,700 unnecessary deaths during the current heat wave in Spain and Portugal alone,” he added. Hans Kluge also said exposure to extreme temperatures “often exacerbates pre-existing health conditions” and noted that infants, children as well as the elderly are at particular risk.

He also highlighted the impact of wildfires, insisting that we were only halfway through “that scorching summer season.” “Ultimately, the events of this week once again highlight the urgent need for pan-European action to effectively combat climate change,” he added. Governments need to show will and leadership in implementing the Paris Accords, Hans Kluge said, recalling that WHO’s members in Europe, meaning 53 countries, including several in Central Asia, “have already shown that they can work together.” about urgent threats to global health” and that “it’s time for us to do it again”.

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