Spain bakes in worst June heatwave in 20 years

by IANS |

Madrid, June 15 (IANS) Spain is currently in the middle of the worst June heatwave in the last 20 years, with all but two of the country's 17 Autonomous Communities on alert for extremely high temperatures.

Parts of southern Spain, such as the regions of Andalusia and Extremadura, are experiencing temperatures of over 40 degrees centigrade, with Cordoba registering temperatures of 43 centigrade and 41 degrees registered in Badajoz, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the capital Madrid, thermometers reached well over 35 degrees, with conditions expected to remain until the start of the weekend.

"It is not normal to have such an extreme heatwave at this time of the year," said Ruben del Campo, the spokesperson for the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET).

"It is the most intense heatwave in mid-June in the last 20 years," he added, with AEMET warning against the "extreme" risk of wildfires caused by temperatures 7-12 degrees above average for the time of year.

The "early, record-breaking heatwave, coming on top of another heatwave less than a month ago is extraordinarily worrying," Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera said after the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Parts of Spain have registered the highest temperatures since the start of the century and one of the driest winters on record, which has left Spain's reservoirs at worrying low levels.

The website embalses.net on Tuesday reported that Spain's reservoirs were currently at an average of just 48.17 per cent capacity, 10 percent below the levels at the same time in 2021 and 20 percent below the average of the past 10 years.

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