SHARE
COPY LINK

SCHOOL

Spanish school kids seek heat relief… in funeral home

It's hot in Spain, so much so that over-heated students near Madrid were transferred from their school to a cooler place... which turned out to be the local air-conditioned funeral home.

Spanish school kids seek heat relief... in funeral home
File photo of schoolkids in Spain: AFP

The unusual decision is just one of several measures taken in recent days as the country goes through a heatwave with temperatures soaring above 40C (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in some places including the Spanish capital.

SEE ALSO: Temperatures reach up to 42C in Spanish heatwave

A spokesman for emergency services in the region told AFP that dozens of “students aged 12 to 18 were transferred to a place close to their school, an air-conditioned funeral home” in Valdemoro near Madrid on Thursday.

The reason? Extreme heat.

“Five students had been taken to hospital, one for heatstroke, the others because they were nervous” due to the heat, the spokesman said.

The school year in Spain ends before the end of June – earlier than in other European countries – due to the summer heat.

But with temperatures hitting record highs, controversy is growing over public schools' lack of readiness for scorching heat, hit as they were by spending cuts during the financial crisis.

The Feuso education union has asked that class ends at midday on days of heatwave, when it says school buildings turn into “saunas.”

Madrid's regional authorities, meanwhile, have allowed establishments to “shorten school days.”

And Jesus Sanchez Martos, a doctor in charge of health issues at the Madrid regional government, suggested students make their own paper fans – a proposal that earned him much criticism.

But it's not just the notoriously roasting Madrid region that is suffering.

In Murcia in the southeast, Antonio Leon, mayor of the town of Torre Pacheco, has called for school buildings themselves to be better conceived.

“Yesterday, a three-year-old suffered from heat stroke and emergency doctors were called in,” he told AFP.

He said the temperature had reached 33.3C in the classroom, in a concrete building.

By law, the temperature in classrooms should be between 17C and 27C, according to the Feuso union.

Leon said air conditioning was the obvious answer, but “another cheaper solution would be to put up awnings that would protect from the radiation of the sun.”

On Friday, Spain's Energy Minister Alvaro Nadal promised to implement a programme to “better insulate” public schools.

WEATHER

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings

Nine Spanish regions were put on alert on Tuesday for heavy snow, rain and strong winds, with the country's traffic authorities calling for people taking holidays this long weekend to head home early to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings
Vehicles stuck in traffic due to a heavy snowfall near Burgos, northern Spain, in March 2021. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Aragón, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country will be on orange alert from Tuesday for snow storms, while Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja and La Comunidad Valenciana are on the less-severe yellow alert, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) announced.

A slight increase in temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees and the central Cantabrian mountain range.

Some roads in the north of the country are already being affected by snow and are being restricted to some traffic such as trucks and heavy vehicles.

Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) called on residents in the northern half of the country to return early from the puente (long weekend) marked by the public holidays of December 6 and 8, ahead of heavy snow forecast for Wednesday.

Of the 108 main roads affected by the heavy snow in Spain, almost half of them are in the northeastern region Aragón.

Aragón, Catalonia and Navarra are at risk of avalanches, according to data from Aemet, while a storm warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Basque country.

Heavy rainfall is expected in Galicia, extending to Cantabria and the western Pyrenees.

SHOW COMMENTS