Record-breaking temperatures during the heatwave in late July have been blamed for 400 deaths across the Netherlands, but the numbers in the north were slightly lower than in other regions.
Translation by Traci White
RTV Drenthe reports that during the heatwave from 22 to 27 July, which included the hottest ever recorded days in Dutch history, 400 deaths were attributed to the tropical temperatures. In total, the Central Bureau for Statistics says that 3,000 people died, which was 15 percent higher than average compared to previous years.
The heat was somewhat unequally distributed across the country, and the north made it through the heat wave with slightly lower and less prolonged highs than areas in the east and south. Dagblad van het Noorden reports that there were more heat-related deaths in the east than in the north.
During a longer but less intense heat wave in the summer of 2018, more deaths were attributed to the warm weather in the northern Netherlands than this year. Even though this year’s conditions were more extreme, the lower death toll is attributed to measures being taken in elderly care facilities to keep them cooler, such as installing air conditioning and enacting a heat protocol during heat waves. Older citizens are more vulnerable during extreme weather conditions.
Econ 050: Avoiding climate catastrophe
Record-breaking temperatures across Europe and more consistently hot summers around the world are the result of climate change due to elevated carbon dioxide emissions. If climate change is global, why do so many countries, even those at direct risk of its consequences like the low-lying Netherlands, still seem to see it as a zero sum game? In a recent episode of our podcast Econ 050, associate professor Pim Heijnen discussed how to get countries to put long term global interest above short term national interests.