THE Balearics are no longer on Level 2 weather alert (moderate risk) because of the heat, following a slight drop in temperatures, but the health ministry is still on the alert, and the emergency services on stand by. Thanks to the drop in temperatures, the Balearics are now at Level 0, with predictions of maximum temperatures between 30 and 32º C and minimums between 21 and 24ºC, according to a government spokesman. The committee set up to monitor the heatwave has decided to call off the Level 2 alert, and reports that the number of people seeking hospital treatment for heat-related problems, and calls to the 061 service have been within normal levels for the past few days. However, the health service maintains its recommendations for groups at risk (over 65s, children, chronically ill, people with respiratory or cardio-vascular problems) and also maintains the observation network which controls the effects of the heat in patients. Advice given to people who have to work outdoors or in heated environments, is that they should organise their work in the coolest parts of the day, to make frequent pauses to rest in the shade and to try to be accompanied at all times. Other recommendations are to drink plenty of water, even when not thirsty, to wear light clothing, protect the head, have frequent light meals and avoid caffeine and alcohol. The advice is also to avoid hot or heavy dishes, to eat cold foods, salads and fruits.
People are also advised to use protective sun barriers and to take precautions when performing activities which require a lot of effort.
The elderly should drink a lot of water.
The health authorities also warn of the danger of leaving children, the elderly or animals inside cars.
As a result of the heatwave, demand for electricty reached a new record on the Majorca-Minorca grid at 1pm yesterday, when it hit 955 megawatts. The previous record was 937 megawatts on January 26, during the cold spell which hit the islands. A spokesman for Gesa-Endesa, the power company, said that the new record is way above the summer record set on August 18 last year, at 924 megawatts, and he said that the historical barrier of 1'000 megawatts will probably be reached some time next month. The spokesman said that because of the heatwave, demand for electricity over the weekend was 22 per cent more than the previous weekend.
He also stressed the importance of making a rational use of energy. Advice includes preventing direct sunlight on doors and windows by using blinds and curtains. The spokesman also pointed out that good insulation can lead to an energy saving of 30 per cent.
He recommends ventilating homes in the early hours of the morning to keep them cool and reduce energy consumption.
If the home is being left for a period of more than four hours, it is advised to switch the air conditioning off and programme it to restart half an hour before the estimated time of return.


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