Last week’s heatwave claimed 400 extra lives

Last week, an estimated 400 more people died than the previous week in the Netherlands. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) says the heatwave is responsible for the sudden rise in fatalities.

An estimated 3,100 people died in the Netherlands during last week’s brutal heatwave — 400 more than the previous week. The 13-day heatwave included nine tropical days, where temperatures reached above 30 degrees.

Deaths not related to coronavirus

For the previous 13 weeks, the mortality rate had been relatively low in the Netherlands. Prior to that, during the height of the corona epidemic, the CBS estimates that nearly nine thousand people more than average died.

During the week of the heatwave, only 16 deaths related to COVID-19 were recorded.

Mortality rate often climbs with temperature

The higher mortality rate last week is similar to that of 2019’s heatwaves in July and August. During the first heatwave, which brought record-breaking temperatures to the Netherlands, there were also an additional 400 deaths.

Previous research from Statistics Netherlands and NIDI show that it is not uncommon to have increased mortality rates during periods of extreme temperature. In 2006, during the longest heatwave recorded in the last hundred years in the Netherlands (16 days), an estimated 1,000 people more than average died.

Elderly most affected

The majority of lives claimed by the heatwave were in people over the age of 80. The same was seen in 2019’s heatwave.

The statistics are based on 85% of obituaries and will be updated with more extensive research on August 28.

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Feature Image: PXHere

Brin Andrews
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.


  1. Perhaps I’ve misread the linked page, but figure 4 seems to saying that excess mortality is far worse in winter – any winter.


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