World

Week of record heat saw 400 more deaths in the Netherlands than usual

Almost 400 more people died in the Netherlands during record-breaking heat wave than in a regular summer week, bringing total deaths in the country to almost 3000 for the week of July 22.

Temperatures reached 40 C in late July for the first time on record in the Netherlands

Hundreds more deaths occurred in the Netherlands during a week of record heat late July than in a regular summer week in the country. (Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images)

Almost 400 more people died in the Netherlands during Europe's recent record-breaking heat wave than in a regular summer week, Dutch national statistics agency CBS said on Friday.

In total, 2,964 people died in the Netherlands during the week of July 22, the CBS said, which was around 15 per cent more than an average summertime week.

Temperature records tumbled across Europe during late July's heat wave and topped 40 C in the Netherlands on July 25 for the first time since record-keeping began.

The death toll in the Netherlands during that week was comparable to the rate during two heat waves in 2006, which were among the longest ever in the country, the researchers said.

About 300 of the additional fatalities were among people aged 80 years and older.

Most of the deaths occurred in the east of the Netherlands, where temperatures were higher and the heat wave lasted longer than in other parts of the country.

The Netherlands has a total population of around 17 million.

The heat wave was the second to hit Europe in a month, and climate specialists warn such bursts of heat may become more common as the planet warms up due to greenhouse gas emissions.

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