Heatwave in Mexico: 48 people lose their lives, howler monkeys faint and die

Mexico has recorded 48 deaths after a heat wave that has hit its territory since March, the government announced, as the country expects new temperature records.

A report from the Ministry of Health shows a cumulative total of “48 deaths nationally” linked to the heat wave which began in mid-March and 956 people who suffered from various health problems, according to data updated as of May 21.

In 2023, a record 419 deaths were recorded due to an eight-month heat wave in Mexico, a country of 129 million people.

It is a natural phenomenon linked to climate change

The current heat “is exceptional” President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador recently said.“It is a very deplorable natural phenomenon, which of course has a link with climate change”he added, emphasizing that the high temperatures and the lack of wind increased the problem of pollution in the capital Mexico City (nine million inhabitants within the city walls, much more with its outskirts).

“Even the population of Veracruz suffers a lot from the heat. Domestic animals also suffer, there are people who work too, for example, street vendors, construction workers, a lot of people suffer from the heat. In the stores, there is no water to drink, there is no ice, there is no electricity”, testifies Cinthia Zuniga who works in a store on the quay.

New heat records expected

And the heat could be even more intense in the next two weeks and break new records, according to scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

“In the next 10 to 15 days, Mexico will experience the highest temperatures ever recorded in its history, which could generate high levels of pollution due to ozone,” they wrote on X.

Howler monkeys fall and die

One of the consequences of the heatwave caught the attention of the international media: the death of howler monkeys in the state of Tabasco in the south of the country. Under the effect of the heat, monkeys perched in the tall trees of the rainforest faint and fall up to 20 meters high and die, explains Victor Morato, director of the veterinary hospital in the city of Comalcalco.

mexico extreme heat heatwave monkeys animals

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