More than 1,700 people literally died from heat, WHO: “Apocalyptic”

Devastating fires, heat waves with record temperatures and deaths in the thousands. The heat in Europe is killing and testing the population with disastrous results. And the forecasts are not good. Now the World Health Organization (WHO) has also sounded the alarm, indicating that some behaviors must be adopted that can save lives.

Fires and heat, very dangerous conditions

“Heat kills – reads a statement from the WHO – In recent decades, hundreds of thousands of people have died due to extreme heat during long heat waves, often with simultaneous fires”. Several fires and above-average temperatures ravage the Iberian Peninsula: Over 1,700 people have literally died of heat in the current heat wave in Spain and Portugal.

Forest fires are well known for their catastrophic consequences, but until now they have been a feature of southern Europe. This week there were fires as far as Scandinavia and fires in London destroyed 41 homes this week. And summer is still long.

WHO appeal: “Collective action or suicide”

“The events of this week underscore once again the desperate need for pan-European action to effectively address climate change, the global crisis of our time that threatens both individual health and the very existence of humanity,” the WHO statement read.

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What can be done? Insist on cooperation, for example: “Governments must show political will and real leadership in the implementation of the Paris Global Agreement on climate change, where cooperation replaces division and empty rhetoric – WHO’s appeal – Strengthening the position of the Paris Agreement as a health treaty, COP26- the health program was launched last year ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and it calls on health systems to take their share of responsibility to strengthen their resilience and combat climate change.

Addresses managers from over 40 countries to Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin earlier this week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a stark warning: “We have a choice. Collective action or collective suicide. It is in our hands”.

WHO advises against heat

The WHO guidance provides practical advice to the public and health professionals on how to respond to heat waves, as well as carers of patients and people in hospitals and other care facilities, including nursing homes.

Here are some basic steps everyone should take to protect themselves and their loved ones.

  • Stay away from heat as much as possible, even at night, avoid strenuous physical activities and ensure that children and animals are not left in parked vehicles;
  • Keep your body fresh and hydrated. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing and sheets, take cool showers or baths, and drink regularly, avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks. If necessary and possible, try to spend 2-3 hours of the day in a cool place;
  • Keep your home as cool as possible. Use the night air to cool your home and reduce the heat load inside your apartment or house during the day by using shutters or blinds;
  • See a doctor if you have a chronic condition or are taking multiple medications. If you are dizzy, weak or anxious, or have intense thirst and a headache, move to a cooler place.
  • Help others by checking on family and friends, including elderly people who live alone.

What does the weather forecast say: will the heat end?

The weather forecasts do not say anything good: from today, over the weekend and the first days of next week, the new African bubble will settle in the Mediterranean, affecting almost all of Southern Europe and, of course, Italy. Temperatures can often reach the threshold of 40 °C and exceed it in some places. Even without 40 degrees, there will always be the heat to make the heat unbearable, day and night in all regions.

The heat wave will not spare anyone, from north to south, but it will probably be only slightly less extreme between Sicily, Calabria and Salento Puglia. From Saturday and at least until Tuesday, the cities that get the red dot are Milan, Cremona, Piacenza, Mantua, Parma, Bologna, Ferrara, Forlì, Padua, Florence, Perugia, Terni, Rome, Naples, Foggia, Cagliari, Palermo , Messina , Cosenza.

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