Hot temperatures fail to trigger heatwave plan
20 June 2005, BRUSSELS — Belgium could record an official heatwave this week, but the Health Ministry's new plan of action to prevent deaths will not be put into operation.
20 June 2005
BRUSSELS — Belgium could record an official heatwave this week, but the Health Ministry's new plan of action to prevent deaths will not be put into operation.
Monday was on course to be the hottest day this week with a forecast temperature of 33 degrees Celsius and local temperatures of up to 35 or 36 degrees, meteorology bureau KMI said
The warm weather is expected to continue for much of the week, with KMI forecasting 29 degrees for Tuesday, 27 on Wednesday and 30 degrees on Thursday, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported.
However, due to the fact night temperatures will be cooler, the 'heatwave plan' of Health Minister Rudy Demotte might not be put into action. A KMI spokesman said the conditions considered necessary to implement the plan will not be met.
The government's plan will only be put into operation if the day and night average temperatures are 23 degrees three days in a row. That figure has not yet been reached.
Nevertheless, hospitals and nursing homes often take measures much earlier to prevent the dehydration and fatigue of patients.
Brussels' public social welfare institution OMCW dispatched workers over the weekend to distribute water and ensure rooms were adequately ventilated.
A man collapsed and died in Oostende on Sunday and medical staff were kept busy elsewhere attending to people reporting problems from the heat.
Meanwhile, meteorologically-speaking a heatwave could be recorded this week.
A heatwave is defined as a period in which 25 degrees or more is recorded on five consecutive days, three of which had temperatures of more than 30 degrees.
The fact that KMI is forecasting scarcely any wind means the coming few days will be especially sultry.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news