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Mexico: Heat wave claims over 100 lives

June 30, 2023

The Mexican Health Ministry has registered over 1,000 heat-related emergencies in just two weeks in June. The heat was at its deadliest in two northeastern Mexican states bordering the US.

A sunny afternoon in Monterrey, Mexico
A warning has been issued for another heatwave in JulyImage: Daniel Becerril/REUTERS

Over 100 people died in Mexico in June due to scorching temperatures, the government confirmed Thursday.

It highlighted the danger of successive heat waves affecting the Latin American nation.

Between June 12 and 25, Mexico reported more than 1,000 heat-related emergencies, resulting in 104 deaths, according to data released by the Health Ministry on Wednesday. The deaths reached a peak in the week of June 18-24, with 69 deaths in one week nationwide. 

Prior to this, authorities had already recorded eight deaths between April 14 and May 31, bringing the total death toll to 112 individuals.

Heatstroke, dehydration caused deaths

Heatstroke was identified as the primary cause of fatalities, followed by dehydration, as per the ministry's findings.

The northern regions of Mexico experienced the highest number of deaths, with 64 fatalities documented in the northeastern state of Nuevo Leon and 19 in neighboring Tamaulipas. Both of these states share a border with the US state of Texas, which is also grappling with extreme heat.

The Health Ministry reported a record-breaking maximum temperature of 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) this week in the northwestern state of Sonora. It further noted that average maximum temperatures in Mexico during the summer typically range from 30 to 45 degrees Celsius.

What are the forecasts for extreme weather in the future?

Authorities are issuing warnings that another heat wave is on the way, expected to start on July 1.

Scientists emphasize that global warming is exacerbating extreme weather events, leading to record-breaking high temperatures in numerous countries.

In May, the United Nations issued a warning that the period from 2023 to 2027 is highly likely to be the warmest five-year period ever recorded. The combination of greenhouse gas emissions and the El Niño phenomenon is contributing to soaring temperatures globally.

Alarm over marine heat wave, Atlantic surface temperatures

tg/dj (AFP, AP, Reuters)