Malta, at least four dead due to heatwave
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese health authorities confirmed that three people died of dehydration and another passed away because of hyperthermia over the weekend as Malta is experiencing one of the longest and worst heatwaves in its history with temperatures reaching above 40 degrees.
The health authorities stated that 34 people had died in the past weekend, mostly due to cardiovascular conditions or chronic exacerbations of other chronic conditions. During the past few days, elderly people needed medical attention from hospitals and health centers. Between July 17 and 21, four patients were admitted to Mater Dei Hospital’s emergency department as a result of heatstroke, sunstroke, hyperthermia, and sunburn.
The deaths come as Malta struggles through a week-long heatwave coupled with a series of power cuts. An outage was also reported at Mater Dei Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday after backup generators failed to operate. An investigation is being carried out by the health authorities.
Malta has entered into its eleventh day of widespread power outages, with the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela announcing the launch of a compensation scheme to address the recent power outages. The scheme will provide relief to those affected by the faults in the electricity distribution system, offering compensation for losses incurred, particularly spoiled food and essential items stored in refrigerators and freezers during power outages.
The Leader of the Opposition Bernard Grech has asked Prime Minister Robert Abela to declare a state of emergency regarding the ongoing power cut crisis.
Many families spent sleepless nights without electricity and businesses threw away perishable goods and suffered a bad reputation. He insisted that giving the public compensation is not enough, as the people deserve to be helped as soon as possible. Last week, the Nationalist Opposition called for Parliament to urgently convene to discuss the so-called national electricity crisis, however, this request was not accepted by the government.
Meanwhile, the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development will be meeting to discuss the continued power cuts, following a request by the Malta Chamber of Commerce. Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he has asked the MCESD chairman to summon social partners to meet to discuss what he described as “the present climate challenges, energy and the ongoing and upcoming works to strengthen the electricity distribution system”.
The Malta Chamber of Commerce has said that the ongoing electricity crisis has caused a lot of turmoil within the business community, with the hospitality sector saying that the power cuts not only caused hotels and restaurants financial losses but have also led them to suffer reputational damage. “This current state of play cannot persist and worst of all repeat itself – the right decisions and timely investment need to be taken now. This country needs to have a long-term economic and social vision that goes beyond the political spectrum”, it urged.
Power cuts left thousands without water supply. A number of localities’ water supply has been interrupted after a boosting station stopped working.
– Foto: Agenzia Fotogramma –