Heatwave warning for Caribbean

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(Barbados Today) While Europe is experiencing heatwaves, North America, Central America and the Caribbean are also at risk. The situation could worsen between July and August, with adverse impact on human health.

In view of the current heatwaves in Europe and predictions that this phenomenon will hit various parts of the Americas, the Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) is urging countries in the region to be prepared, due to the impact that this could have on people’s health, including the risk of death.

During the southern hemisphere’s summer of 2018-2019, seven countries in the Americas (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay) were affected by heatwaves, a phenomenon never seen before in the region. Two of the heatwaves that have had the greatest impact since 2000 include the one in Brazil in 2010 which caused the death of 737 people, and the one in Argentina in the summer of 2013-2014 which caused 1,877 deaths and left 800,000 people with no power, which increased heat stress in that population. According to health authorities in the United States, heatwaves are the natural phenomenon that causes the highest number of deaths in that country.

Weather forecasts for North America, Central America and the Caribbean predict heatwaves during the summer of 2019. This could increase drought-induced stress, lead to forest fires, and have harmful effects on human health.

Read more at: Barbados Today

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