Second heatwave grips Spain

Madrid, July 12 (IANS) Spain is sweltering in its second heatwave, with scorching temperatures expected, risks of wildfires raised and low water levels recorded.
 
Second heatwave grips Spain

Madrid, July 12 (IANS) Spain is sweltering in its second heatwave, with scorching temperatures expected, risks of wildfires raised and low water levels recorded.

All of Spain's 17 autonomous communities, except Asturias and Cantabria on the north coast and Murcia in the southeast, are on alert for high temperatures, Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) warned on Monday.

The regions of Andalusia, Aragon, Castille-Leon, Castille-La Mancha and Madrid are on orange alerts with temperatures expected to top 41 degrees celsuis, it added.

AEMET said the heatwave may have a duration of around nine days, and the "worst is expected" between Tuesday and Thursday, with temperatures expected to reach or even go above 44 degrees celsuis in southern cities such as Cordoba, Seville, Jaen and Badajoz, Xinhua news agency reported.

The heatwave has raised the risk of forest fires in Spain to "extreme" and "very high" in nearly all parts of the country. A total of 81,866 hectare of woodland and scrub in Spain have already been burned by wildfires in 2022, beating the total amount of damage in 2021, according to the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

Meanwhile, Spain's reservoirs are at worryingly low levels at an average of just 45 per cent capacity. The situation is actually worse in some regions such as Andalusia and Extremadura with just 32 per cent and 35 per cent of their capacity left.

This heatwave follows Spain's first heatwave in June, which was one of the earliest on record. The country also recorded the hottest May of this century.

--IANS

int/khz/