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More than 1,000 deaths linked to heatwave in Portugal, Spain

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The death toll from the heatwave in Portugal and Spain has risen to more than 1,000, according to partial figures released on Sunday. More deaths are expected as the sweltering heat expands to other parts of western Europe.

Most of the deaths have been reported in Portugal, where the temperature reached as high as 47°C (116.6°F) on Thursday, just below the all-time high in 2003. Extreme heat has also been reported in Spain, Andorra, France, and other countries, causing massive wildfires.

The Directorate-General for Health reported 659 excess deaths in Portugal during the past week, with a peak of 440 deaths on Thursday alone. The figures are expected to rise as more data comes in during the next few days.

At least 368 heat-related deaths have been reported in neighboring Spain, according to estimates from the Carlos III Health Institute, taking the total from both countries to 1,027. Friday saw the highest number of deaths so far, 123.

One of those who died was a 60-year-old street cleaner who collapsed on Friday afternoon while working in Madrid. When emergency services arrived, his body temperature was 41.6°C (106.9°F), according to the El Pais newspaper. He died the next day.

More deaths are expected as the sweltering heatwave expands to other parts of western Europe.

A red alert has been issued for parts of western France, where temperatures could reach as high as 44°C (111.2°F) on Monday. The UK Met Office has also issued a red alert, saying temperatures in parts of England could climb as high as 40°C (104°F), which would break the all-time high.

Extreme heat forecast across Europe for Tuesday (Credit: WXCharts)

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