Heat wave warning

PORTUGAL’S METEOROLOGICAL institute has warned that a heat wave will continue to affect the country throughout this coming weekend.

It is predicted that the situation will be worse felt in the areas of Santarém and Setúbal, near Lisbon, where the temperatures are likely to be as high as 45ºC. The Alentejo is also likely to experience temperatures higher than 40ºC, along with central Portugal and some areas in the south of the country. The heat wave mirrors a similar situation experienced in August 2003.

The authorities are appealing to the public not to light fires and, if a forest fire is seen, to call 117 immediately.

These conditions are particularly serious for the most vulnerable members of the population – the elderly, children, the sick and those with respiratory illnesses. For this reason, the authorities have issued the following guidelines for protection of the population in those areas most affected by the high temperatures:

• Drink plenty of water and regularly

• Avoid alcoholic and fizzy drinks

• Avoid staying out during the hours of peak heat

• Avoid activities requiring heavy physical exertion

• If you need to make a journey by car, choose hours of less heat. Do not leave

vulnerable people or animals inside the car in the sun.

• Wear light coloured cotton clothing

• If visiting the beach, go first thing in the morning or at the end of the day

• Stay in the shade, wear a hat, sun glasses and use sun protection cream

The situation continues to be monitored by the municipal civil protection services, together with the meteorological institute, the national health service and the fire brigade. Further communications will be issued as necessary.