Twenty-one dead as tem­per­a­tures soar in Egyp­tian heat­wave: min­istry

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Twenty-one peo­ple have died and 66 oth­ers were hos­pi­tal­ized with ex­haus­tion as soar­ing tem­per­a­tures and high hu­mid­ity hit Cairo and other parts of Egypt, the health min­istry said Mon­day.

The vic­tims, who all died on Sun­day, suc­cumbed as tem­per­a­tures soared as high as 47 de­grees Cel­sius, in con­di­tions made less bear­able by el­e­vated hu­mid­ity lev­els.

Fif­teen peo­ple died in Cairo, four in the Delta province of Qal­i­biya and two in Up­per Egypt’s Qena province, the min­istry said in a state­ment. Those who died, in­clud­ing seven women, were all aged over 60.

Sixty-six peo­ple were ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal af­ter suf­fer­ing from ex­haus­tion, in­clud­ing 37 who are still un­der ob­ser­va­tion, it added.

“There is a big rise in tem­per­a­ture com­pared with pre­vi­ous years. But the prob­lem is the hu­mid­ity which is af­fect­ing peo­ple more,” said min­istry spokesman Hos­sam Ab­del Ghaf­far.

“Long ex­po­sure un­der the sun is a killer.”

Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal of­fi­cials con­firmed that tem­per­a­tures in the cap­i­tal and some parts of the coun­try were higher then av­er­age.

“The tem­per­a­ture is higher by four to five de­grees than what is usu­ally seen, and the hu­mid­ity is very high this month,” Wa­heed Soudi, head of anal­y­sis in the Egyp­tian Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Au­thor­ity told AFP.

“The peak tem­per­a­ture in the shade was 38 de­grees Cel­sius in Cairo on Sun­day, which means it was 47 de­grees un­der the sun or in places with bad ven­ti­la­tion.”

Although it is not un­com­mon to see sum­mer tem­per­a­tures in the high 30s through­out Egypt, it is rare for hu­mid­ity lev­els to re­main el­e­vated dur­ing ex­ces­sively hot weather.

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