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The Carlos III Health Institute, part of Spain’s Ministry of Health, has reported 679 deaths recorded in the first week of Spain’s heatwave corresponding with the week July 10th to Sunday, July 17th – the day with the most deaths, so far, at 169 reported fatalities. 

This comes only a day after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez confirmed that “more than 500 people died” during the ten-day heatwave, meaning that the updated death toll is at least around 150 deaths higher.

READ ALSO: Heatwave in Spain: Why are so many people dying?

Worryingly, according to figures from Spain’s Daily Mortality Monitoring System, the number of deaths attributable to the soaring temperatures are consistently on the rise: on Sunday 10th there were 15 deaths, 28 on Monday 11th; 41 on Tuesday, 60 on Wednesday, 93 on Thursday, 123 on Friday and 150 on Saturday.

Of the 679 dead, it is believed that 430 are over 85 years old, 159 between 75 and 84, and another 58 between the ages of 65 and 74.

From Thursday, forecasts predict temperatures will rise again across much of Spain, with 12 out of Spain’s 17 regions on alert. 

Spanish provinces on yellow and orange alert for high temperatures on Thursday July 21st. Map: AEMET weather agency

This comes after a brief and slight drop in temperatures, which was preceded by the third longest heatwave on record in Spain. In essence, it will be almost as if the ten-day heatwave that just ‘ended’ continues to rage on.

The extreme heat will be felt the most in Andalusia, Extremadura, Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha , where there is an orange warning (significant risk), reports the Agency State Meteorology (AEMET)

Temperatures north of 35C are expected in Ebro valley, Mallorca and areas of the Canary Islands, and temperatures could top 40C in the valleys of the Guadalquivir, Guadiana and Tagus.

June heatwave

The current ola de calor (heatwave) gripping Spain is not the first the country has suffered this summer, however.

Spain also had a heatwave in early June, which made it the earliest in the year since 1981. The spell of high temperatures, which lasted for little over a week, saw the mercury exceed 40C in many parts of the country, according to the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), in places like Jaén, where a staggering 44.5C was recorded on June 17th.

And like the current spell of scorching temperatures, such an unusually early heatwave also had fatal consequences in June. On both June 18th and 19th, 206 deaths were recorded, according to the Carlos III Health Institute. The institute estimates that the month of June saw 829 excess deaths that are attributable to the high temperatures. 

READ ALSO: Heatstroke death in Spain sees outdoor workers call for more protection