Some 23 people have died due to the high temperatures this summer, say the Catalan authorities. Two people died in the run-up to the heatwave that the meteorology service reported as beginning on August 2. The other 21 heat stroke victims lost their lives between August 2 and 13. The victims were between 41 and 100.
While 10 people succumbed to heat stroke at home, the other 13 died outside, either working or doing physical activity. Seventeen of the victims died in Barcelona and surroundings, one died in Girona, one in Lleida, and four more in Tarragona.
Until August 13, a total of 67 cases of heat stroke were reported to epidemiological surveillance, which collates health-related data, while at the height of the heatwave, the emergency health services received 453 calls for incidents related to the high temperatures.
The health department defines heat stroke as when a person is unable to naturally lower their body temperature below 40ºC. Symptoms include dizziness and headaches, and can lead to severe complications, such as seizures or kidney failure.
The authorities recommend people remain hydrated, that they avoid going out at the hottest times, limit intense physical activity and spend at least two hours each day in a temperature controlled environment.