THE INTENSE heat wave that is gripping Portugal is set to stay until September 12. The country will continue to experience high temperatures, ranging between 32 and 38 degrees centigrade, according to the Instituto de Meteorologia, the Portuguese meteorological office.
The last heat wave this year, which occurred between August 2 and 13, caught the whole of the country off-guard, with Braga, Aveiro and Coimbra being the worst affected areas.
August 6 was the hottest day of the year so far, with Lousã in Coimbra registering a scorching 42.3 degrees centigrade. However, the highest recorded temperature to hit Portugal was on August 1, 2003 in Amareleja in the Alentejo at 47.3 degrees. In that particular heat wave, 1,953 people died in Portugal. Statistics for this year will be released in October.
The Health Ministry has warned that over exposure to intense heat can be extremely harmful to the body. The Ministry recommends that people drink plenty of fluids and only eat light meals throughout the day.