In much of Mexico these are the dog days of summer, or canícula in Spanish, but it’s been a brutal period since it began 13 days ago.
At least 15 people have died in Baja California, Sonora, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Tabasco due to extreme heat.
Temperatures in Baja California, where seven people have died, have been recorded as high as 54 C.
The northern state reported a total of six heat-related deaths in all of last year. In addition to the seven deaths there have been 29 reports of people falling ill due to the high temperatures.
They have also taken their toll in Sonora, where the Health Secretariat has reported five deaths during the current hot spell.
In Sinaloa, authorities continue to investigate the death of a two-year-old girl who was found unconscious inside a vehicle in Los Mochis. Preliminary reports indicate that the toddler was playing hide-and-seek and chose the SUV as a hiding place.
It is believed that the girl was unable to open the door to get out during midday temperatures of 38 C.
In the Gulf of Mexico state of Tabasco, where temperatures have reached 40 C, a five-year-old girl with cerebral palsy died due to heat stroke.
The hot spell is also affecting an estimated 8,500 families in Teapa that take their water from the Puxatán River, whose levels have seen a drastic drop. A population of 30,000 living in an area around the river could also be affected if the levels continue dropping.
The national Civil Protection office has declared a state of emergency in 640 municipalities in 24 states due to the heat wave, freeing up emergency funds for health and food requirements of people affected.
Authorities advise that the most vulnerable — children and seniors — remain indoors as much as possible.
The National Meteorogical Service forecasts the hot weather will continue in at least 25 states.
Source: El Universal (sp)