The heatwave that hit the Apennines this summer resulted in a 29% excess death rate in July, affecting all age groups over 65, Italy's health ministry said.
Excess mortality shows the excess of the actual number of deaths over a certain time period over the expected. The analysis of the Ministry of Health touched upon 33 large cities, where representatives of the oldest segments of the population over 85 years of age felt the greatest consequences. In northern cities, excess mortality among them was 41%, in the center and south of Italy - 35%.
In July, experts from the National Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Research (Isac) reported that the first seven months of 2022 saw temperatures so high in Italy that this year could be the hottest in more than 200 years of meteorological observations in the Apennines. Scientists then reported that last July was the second hottest on record, surpassed only by the anomalous month of 2003.
Meteorologists recorded a record average temperature in July: it is 2.26 degrees higher than the average temperature since 1800. As for the first seven months of this year, this figure exceeds the average by 0.98 degrees.
In early August 2021, the air temperature in the Sicilian village of Florida reached 48.8 degrees. Thus, the all-European record was broken, which, according to the World Meteorological Organization, had been held since July 1977, when 48 degrees of heat were recorded in Athens.