By Humphrey Carter

PHEW! The heat wave alert was lifted by the emergency services on the advice of the Balearic met office yesterday but the local authorities and health bodies are not letting their guard down with the prospect of a long and very hot summer ahead of us as the Bulletin reported yesterday.

According to the head of the Balearic met. office, Agusti Jansa, the first truce in the heat wave will last a couple of days, although maximum temperatures did reach around 32ºC yesterday.

The main reason is that warm air which has been blasting the Balearics from North Africa has been nudged away by cooler winds coming across from the Atlantic and therefore the temperatures will drop slightly restricting maximum temperatures to around 28 and 29ºC.

Nevertheless, the Balearic Red Cross mounted its summer operation at the start of this month and are keeping an eye on the young and elderly, those most at risk from the extreme temperatures.

Red Cross boss Marta Soler said yesterday that the number of Red Cross personnel involved in this summer's care campaign has been significantly increased because of the growth in the population.

Last year over 400 people were treated for the effects of heat, the majority elderly.
The Red Cross launched its emergency operation as soon as the maximum temperature passed 21.6ºC and this year, it is also running a telephone help service for anyone seeking information about how to beat the heat. “Operation Heat Wave” is also supported by the Balearic government, the security services and the emergency departments which operate three different alert levels.

The region will be put on the green alert, the lowest, if the maximum and minimum temperatures fluctuate between 21.6 and 35.2C, for one or two days.
The alert is stepped up to orange if the heat wave prolongs for three of four days and red alert is launched if the heat wave runs into five days or beyond.