News, Culture & Society

Boy dies of heat exhaustion in Spain as the country battles wildfires and the rest of Europe sizzles

Temperatures in France are expected to hit a record high on Friday, as Europe swelters in a heatwave blamed for several deaths, including a 17-year-old farm worker in Spain.

The teenager felt dizzy while helping harvest wheat in the southern Andalusia region.

After a dip in a swimming pool to cool off, he collapsed with convulsions and was rushed to hospital in the town of Cordoba where he later died, the regional government said.

The death comes as Europe is set to face sizzling heat on Friday, with wildfires in Spain and record-breaking temperatures expected for France as the Saharan Bubble comes to a boil. 

Scroll for video 

The death comes as Europe is set to face sizzling heat on Friday, with wildfires in Spain and record-breaking temperatures expected for France. Pictured: Girls wearing swimsuits sit along the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris on Friday

People sail on the Canal de l'Ourcq, which has been decorated for a summer festival in Paris. A mini tows a caravan followed by a skeleton on Friday

People sail on the Canal de l’Ourcq, which has been decorated for a summer festival in Paris. A mini tows a caravan followed by a skeleton on Friday

A woman sits under the sun along the Canal de l'Ourcq in Paris on Friday. The country is set for record-breaking searing heat

A woman sits under the sun along the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris on Friday. The country is set for record-breaking searing heat 

The unnamed teenager, who was from the village of Castro del Rio in Cordoba province which is famed for its olive, died at 1.25am at Cordoba’s Reina Sofia Hospital.

The regional Junta de Andalucia government said it ‘regretted the youngster’s death and sent its condolences to his family and friends for their loss’ in a statement.

The death of an 80-year-old man in Valladolid, northern Spain, has also been blamed on the heat. 

The unnamed teenager, who was from the village of Castro del Rio in Cordoba province which is famed for its olive oil and furniture made from olive oil, died at 1.25am at Cordoba's Reina Sofia Hospital (pictured)

The unnamed teenager, who was from the village of Castro del Rio in Cordoba province which is famed for its olive oil and furniture made from olive oil, died at 1.25am at Cordoba’s Reina Sofia Hospital (pictured)

He had been walking to the dentist’s when he collapsed around 6pm on Thursday in the city centre.

Police sources said they believed he had been wearing too many clothes for the 99F (37C) temperature at the time.

A 50-year-old who was working in the countryside has also been hospitalised in Murcia in south-east Spain after falling ill.

A dog jumps into the Canal de l'Ourcq in Paris, on Friday. Schools have been spraying children with water and nursing homes are equipping the elderly with hydration sensors as France and other nations battle a record-setting heat wave baking much of Europe

A dog jumps into the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris, on Friday. Schools have been spraying children with water and nursing homes are equipping the elderly with hydration sensors as France and other nations battle a record-setting heat wave baking much of Europe

A man uses a hose along the Canal de l'Ourcq in Paris on Friday to irrigate the grass as it sits under the scorching sun today

A man uses a hose along the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris on Friday to irrigate the grass as it sits under the scorching sun today

He was taken to hospital from a health centre and his condition has been described as serious and he is in intensive care.

Police and Civil Guard in Montuiri in Majorca are also investigating whether a 60-year-old Argentinian’s death is the result of a heatwave.

The results of a post-mortem due to be carried out on Thursday have not yet been released.

Madrid was expected to see 106F (41C) heat on Friday, with Zaragoza baking in up to 109F (43C).

As many as 33 of the 50 Spanish provinces face extreme temperatures, which could reach 111F (44C) in Girona.

Governments warned citizens to take extra precautions, with the week-long heatwave causing a build-up of pollution and fears of an increase in emergency calls across Europe.

French meteorologists have forecast temperatures that may exceed 113F (45C) on Friday – a high never seen in mainland France.

French meteorologists have forecast temperatures that may exceed 113F (45C) on Friday - a high never seen in mainland France (people cool themselves at a fountain opposite the Eiffel Tower on Thursday)

French meteorologists have forecast temperatures that may exceed 113F (45C) on Friday – a high never seen in mainland France (people cool themselves at a fountain opposite the Eiffel Tower on Thursday)

The country has issued red heatwave alerts for the first time ever as southern regions brace for the weather.

Its national weather service upped the alert level from orange for the departments of Herault, Gard, Vaucluse and Bouches-du-Rhone warning ‘all members of the public should be concerned, even if they are in good health’.

A large area of southern France has been issued with the red alert – indicating a ‘dangerous weather phenomenon’ – for the first time since the warning system was brought in in 2004.

The country has issued red heatwave alerts for the first time ever as southern regions brace for the weather. Pictured: tourists and dwellers of Nice refresh themselves in a fountain

The country has issued red heatwave alerts for the first time ever as southern regions brace for the weather. Pictured: tourists and dwellers of Nice refresh themselves in a fountain

However, French winemakers have welcomed the heat, saying weather could produce a superior vintage.

France’s current record temperature was set in August 2003 in the southern region of Montpellier and Nimes, when the thermometer hit 111F (44C).

Meteorologist Christelle Robert said: ‘To beat this record so early in the year would be exceptional.’

And 81-year-old Suzette Allegre, from Montpellier, was up early to do her shopping and said: ‘By 8:00 am, the sun is already burning hot and you can smell the pollution.’

The area surrounding Montpellier and the nearby city of Nimes – where the 2003 record was set – was placed on the highest alert level on Friday, as were Marseille and Avignon.

A large area of southern France has been issued with a red alert - indicating a 'dangerous weather phenomenon' - for the first time since the warning system was brought in in 2004. Pictured: A young boy holds a bucket as he plays with water at a public fountain in Tours on Thursday

A large area of southern France has been issued with a red alert – indicating a ‘dangerous weather phenomenon’ – for the first time since the warning system was brought in in 2004. Pictured: A young boy holds a bucket as he plays with water at a public fountain in Tours on Thursday

The average maximum temperature recorded in France on Wednesday of 95F (35C) was already a record for the month of June, said state weather forecaster Meteo France.

French President Emmanuel Macron warned that such extreme weather is likely to become more frequent as a result of global warming.

‘We will need to change our set-up, our way of working, build differently,’ he said, stressing a necessary ‘adaption of society and its habits.’

The average maximum temperature recorded in France on Wednesday of 95F (35C) was already a record for the month of June, said state weather forecaster Meteo France. Pictured: Firefighters assist a woman suffering from the heat in Tours on Thursday

The average maximum temperature recorded in France on Wednesday of 95F (35C) was already a record for the month of June, said state weather forecaster Meteo France. Pictured: Firefighters assist a woman suffering from the heat in Tours on Thursday 

Is Europe’s heatwave consistent with climate change?

This year is on track to be among the hottest ever and that would make 2015-2019 the world’s hottest five-year period on record, the World Meteorological Organization said on Friday.

It is too soon to definitely attribute Europe’s current blistering heatwave to climate change but it is ‘absolutely consistent’ with extremes linked to the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, the United Nations agency said.

‘Heatwaves will become more intense, they will become more drawn out, they will become more extreme, they will start earlier and they will finish later,’ WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis told a briefing in Geneva.

‘We are still only the end of June, but it seems like the earth is set to experience its five warmest years on record, so that is 2015 to 2019 inclusive,’ she said. From January to May, 2019 ranked as the third warmest year, she added.

G20 negotiators in Osaka, Japan are wrangling over the wording of a summit communique on fighting climate change, with the United States seeking to dilute the language against European opposition, according to sources and drafts of the text

French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Thursday people had to be prepared for the peak of the heatwave and expressed irritation that some appeared not to be listening to advice.

She complained about parents leaving their children in the car and joggers exercising in the midday heat.

Schools have been spraying children with water and nursing homes are equipping the elderly with hydration sensors.

Centralised air conditioning is rare in France.

About 4,000 schools closed because they could not ensure safe conditions, and local authorities cancelled many end-of-school-year carnivals.

Some criticised the government for going overboard, but the prime minister defended the efforts after 15,000 people died in a heat wave in 2003 that woke France up to the risks.

Those schools that stayed open worked to keep kids cool.

Teachers at the Victor Hugo Primary School in Colombes near Paris abandoned suffocating classrooms and are keeping children outside all day, sprinkling them with water and organizing quiet activities in the shade.

‘I make them go in the playground with books, in the shade, they must stay seated, they keep hydrated on a regular basis,’ said teacher Valerie Prevost.

‘We tell them to dampen their caps, to drink regularly. 

‘We’ve been given reusable cups so we make them drink very regularly.’

France has also seen an uptick in so-called street-pooling, or illegally opening fire hydrants.

A six-year-old child is in life-threatening condition after being hit by water shooting from a cracked-open fire hydrant in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, broadcaster France-Info reported.

The news comes as Spain continues to battle fierce forest fires brought about by the extreme heat – with farm animals roasting alive.

Blazes have also broken out in Greece and Germany as Europe suffers through an ‘unprecedented’ spell of June heat.

On Wednesday Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic recorded their highest-ever June temperatures.

A major wildfire in northeastern Spain that began in a pile of chicken dung, raged out of control for a third straight day Friday.

More than 600 firefighters and six water-dropping aircraft were battling the blaze in the Catalonia region as Spain is forecast to endure the peak of a recent heatwave, with temperatures expected to exceed 104F (40C).

Officials say cooler overnight temperatures allowed crews to slow the fire’s advance, but authorities say it is the region’s worst fire in two decades and 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of hilly terrain are at risk.

Blazes have also broken out in Greece (pictured, a man sits near the iconic installation 'Umbrellas' by Greek sculptor, painter and architect George Zongolopoulos in Thessaloniki on Thursday) and Germany as Europe suffers through an 'unprecedented' spell of June heat

Blazes have also broken out in Greece (pictured, a man sits near the iconic installation ‘Umbrellas’ by Greek sculptor, painter and architect George Zongolopoulos in Thessaloniki on Thursday) and Germany as Europe suffers through an ‘unprecedented’ spell of June heat

Fire investigators believe the blaze started with the spontaneous combustion of a pile of chicken manure on a livestock farm.

Chief Inspector Josep Antoni Mur told a news conference Thursday that the pile grew hotter as it fermented, and then flames were blown into the surrounding vegetation, private news agency Europa Press reported.

Miquel Buch, the regional interior minister, asked people to exercise extreme caution in forested areas.

He says fire services are at full stretch ‘and we can’t allow another wildfire to break out.’

Authorities were caring Friday for more than 50 people evacuated from the previous day. They included locals as well as people from Britain, Belgium, Germany, Brazil and the United States, according to Europa Press.

Numerous local roads were closed.

Some 350 firefighters backed by around 230 soldiers and 15 aerial tanker aircraft were at the scene of the blaze on Thursday.

But officials have admitted the fire – fanned by strong winds and soaring temperatures – was ‘getting bigger’ and warned it could eventually destroy 20,000 hectares in what presented an ‘extreme risk.’ 

Helicopters drop water over a fire during a forest fire near Bovera, west of Tarragona, Spain. Officials said yesterday the blaze, fanned by hot winds, was 'out of control'

Helicopters drop water over a fire during a forest fire near Bovera, west of Tarragona, Spain. Officials said yesterday the blaze, fanned by hot winds, was ‘out of control’

A forest fire in Spain raged out of control on Thursday amid a Europe-wide heatwave, devouring land despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters who worked through the night, local authorities said

A forest fire in Spain raged out of control on Thursday amid a Europe-wide heatwave, devouring land despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters who worked through the night, local authorities said

Hundreds of firefighters and soldiers battled a wind-fuelled forest fire in Spain amid a Europe-wide heatwave that has sent temperatures soaring to record highs in several countries

Hundreds of firefighters and soldiers battled a wind-fuelled forest fire in Spain amid a Europe-wide heatwave that has sent temperatures soaring to record highs in several countries

Flames rage close to a house amid a fierce forest fire ripping across La Torre de l'Espanyol in Tarragona, Spain yesterday

Flames rage close to a house amid a fierce forest fire ripping across La Torre de l’Espanyol in Tarragona, Spain yesterday

The blaze broke out on Wednesday afternoon in Torre del Espanol in the northeastern region of Catalonia and by Thursday it had destroyed more than 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres), the region's interior minister Miquel Buch said

The blaze broke out on Wednesday afternoon in Torre del Espanol in the northeastern region of Catalonia and by Thursday it had destroyed more than 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres), the region’s interior minister Miquel Buch said 

A fireman works on the extinguishing of a forest fire in Ziltendorf near Frankfurt an der Oder, northeastern Germany, close to the border with Poland. Wild fires have broken out amid stifling conditions in the country

A fireman works on the extinguishing of a forest fire in Ziltendorf near Frankfurt an der Oder, northeastern Germany, close to the border with Poland. Wild fires have broken out amid stifling conditions in the country

A firefighter tries to extinguish a blaze near Flix as a forest fire raged out of control in the northeastern region of Catalonia yesterday

A firefighter tries to extinguish a blaze near Flix as a forest fire raged out of control in the northeastern region of Catalonia yesterday

A burnt forest area in Tarragona, Catalonia, northeastern Spain. The fire started in the late evening in the area of Ribera d'Ebre and has burnt at least 4,000 hectares so far

A burnt forest area in Tarragona, Catalonia, northeastern Spain. The fire started in the late evening in the area of Ribera d’Ebre and has burnt at least 4,000 hectares so far

‘The situation is critical,’ said fire service chief Antonio Ramos. ‘We haven’t seen a fire like this (in the region) in 20 years.’

Dozens have been evacuated, water-dropping aircraft were helping emergency crews on the ground and distressing images showed farm animals lying dead after being caught up in the blaze. 

The region’s interior minister Miquel Buch said the fire may have been caused by ‘an accumulation of manure in a farm that generated enough heat to explode and generate sparks.’   

The wildfires in Catalonia are among the worst it has seen in 20 years, the regional government said, adding that around 30 people had been evacuated from farmhouses in the affected area. Two horses are pictured dead after fires hit their farm

The wildfires in Catalonia are among the worst it has seen in 20 years, the regional government said, adding that around 30 people had been evacuated from farmhouses in the affected area. Two horses are pictured dead after fires hit their farm

Distressing images show the bodies of a flock of sheep after their barn was hit by fierce forest fire in La Torre De L'Espanyol

Distressing images show the bodies of a flock of sheep after their barn was hit by fierce forest fire in La Torre De L’Espanyol

A digger was destroyed as a fire ripped across a farm near the village of La Torre De L'Espanyol, in Tarragona, Catalonia

A digger was destroyed as a fire ripped across a farm near the village of La Torre De L’Espanyol, in Tarragona, Catalonia

A farmer looks at burning trees near Flix. Pictures show how dozens of farmyard animals have been killed in wildfires

A farmer looks at burning trees near Flix. Pictures show how dozens of farmyard animals have been killed in wildfires

With temperatures expected to reach up to 108F (41C) on Friday, Spain has issued a ‘red level’ warning to its population.

Firefighters in Greece battled to contain a blaze near an arms factory just 30 miles from Athens with the fire having forced the evacuation of a small refugee camp. 

Wildfires are common during Greece’s hot, arid summers and last year, 101 people died after a blaze swept through a seaside resort east of the capital.

Elsewhere, the Italian city of Milan saw a 72-year-old homeless man die at the main train station after falling ill due to the heatwave, the local authorities said.

Italy's health ministry, meanwhile, has issued a maximum red alert for heat for six cities on Thursday and for 16 on Friday, Ansa reports. (Above, women drink water in front of the Duomo in central Milan on Wednesday)

Italy’s health ministry, meanwhile, has issued a maximum red alert for heat for six cities on Thursday and for 16 on Friday, Ansa reports. (Above, women drink water in front of the Duomo in central Milan on Wednesday)

As Germans attempted to cool off amid scorching temperatures, at least four people died in bathing accidents in different parts of the country on Wednesday.

Some areas of the country were experiencing water shortages and some residents in the North Rhine-Westphalia state were told to only use drinking water for vital purposes or face a 1,000- euro (£1,021) fine.

There has been no coordinated shutdown of schools but some have closed in parts of France, while others advised parents to keep children at home.

In Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Strasbourg, authorities have banned the most-polluting cars from the roads.

Residents of the French city of Grenoble were unable to use two municipal swimming pools despite the record temperatures, due to a row sparked by use of the full-body Islamic burkini swimsuit.

Lifeguards had asked for the shutdown after Muslim women clad in burkinis had gone to swim in defiance of a municipal ban.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.