As the temperature rose during the sweltering July heatwave, so did the number of deaths. More than 400 extra people died compared to an average week during in the summer period, according to new figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) released today.
Almost 3000 people died during the July heatwave, a number that would typically be 400 less. But, as the mercury rose above 40°C, the mortality rate followed. People older than 80 years old struggled particularly with the temperature, making up three-quarters of the deaths.
Last months heatwave broke historical records after Gilze-Rijen reached 40.7°C and many other areas broke 40°C.
In week 30 van 2019 overleden 211 personen per 100 duizend inwoners van 80 jaar en ouder. In 2006 lag dat aantal tijdens de weken van de hittegolven (week 27, 29 en 30) nog op 262. Zie: https://t.co/qmbxs8QlQK pic.twitter.com/JCPIZaQCXi
— CBS (@statistiekcbs) August 9, 2019
In the 2018 summer heatwave the amount of additional deaths only exceeded 100 more than in a normal summer week. The quadrupling this year could be because the 2018 summer was proceeded by a flu epidemic which may have contributed to deaths earlier than in the summer.
Learning from the past
While the numbers increased compared to last year, it was nothing compared to the heatwave of 2006. During the 2006 heatwaves, 1000 additional people died compared to average, says CBS.
“These days the connection seems to be less strong. There is more awareness of what to do with a heat wave,” the CBS said in a statement.
Those living in the East were unlucky, with temperatures rising higher, lasting longer, and increasing the chance of death.
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