Advertisement

October heat forces Spain's Canary Islands to suspend classes

Author thumbnail
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
October heat forces Spain's Canary Islands to suspend classes
The high temperatures helped once again rekindle a wildfire in the northeast of Tenerife, which already ravaged around 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of woodland over the summer.(Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)

Spain's Canary Islands on Tuesday ordered the temporary closure of schools due to scorching temperatures on the archipelago after several reported cases of students fainting or suffering heatstroke.

Advertisement

The eight-island archipelago located in the Atlantic off the northwest coast of Africa typically experiences spring-like temperatures all year, but temperatures have recently soared to around 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts, around 13C above average for early October.

The mercury hit 38.5C in Adeje in the southwest of Tenerife on Monday, and 37.8C in Arucas in the north of the neighbouring island of Gran Canaria, according to Spain's meteorological agency AEMET.

Advertisement

With the heat forecast to continue, the archipelago's education minister, Poli Suárez, announced classes would be suspended on Wednesday and Friday. Thursday is a public holiday in Spain.

"We want to prioritise the safety of boys and girls at all school in the Canaries," he told reporters.

Local media said there had been several cases of students fainting or suffering heatstroke in recent days in the Canaries.

The high temperatures helped once again rekindle a wildfire in the northeast of Tenerife, which already ravaged around 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of woodland over the summer.

About 100 firefighters backed by nine water-dropping helicopters were battling the blaze, the regional government of the Canaries said in a statement.

The blaze first broke out in mid-August, and was declared under control on September 11th, but was never fully put out. Small fires have continued to ignite periodically in the same area due to winds and the heat.

"High temperatures make extinguishing work difficult and new reactivations are possible," the head of the regional government of Tenerife, Rosa Davila, wrote on social network X, formerly called Twitter.

The high temperatures are expected to last until Sunday.

As global temperatures rise due to climate change, scientists have warned that heatwaves will become more frequent and more intense.

More

Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

Stewart Kirby 2023/10/11 09:40
Get with programme, it’s 8 islands not 7. La Graciosa was recognised in its own right a couple of years ago.

See Also