STAFF REPORTER

MADRID
THE Balearics was one of the regions of the country on yellow alert yesterday with the National Met. Office warning of soaring temperatures this week to come to the Islands - between 37 and 39 degrees - and up to 40 degrees in other parts of Spain.

Although general advice was to head to the coast to escape the stifling heat of the interior, Majorca was listed in the alert along with Castilla y Leon, La Rioja, Navarre, Aragon, the province of Lleida in Catalonia, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Madrid, Valencia, Murcia and Andalucia.

Maria Jose Guerrero at the Met. Office delegation in the Balearics, said that the worst affected areas on Majorca will be the centre, north and northeast but that it will be cooler along the coast. Minimum temperatures in the early hours of Thursday morning, warned Guerrero, will be as high as 25 degrees. Experts warn that people have difficulty in sleeping when minimum temperatures rise above 21 degrees centrigrade.

The state's weather agency, AEMET (of which the Met. Office forms a part), forecast that until Friday, there will be cloudy intervals in the Balearics, especially from midday onwards with light to moderate increases in temperature accompanied by light southeast winds. The agency warned that when skies are clear in the region, ultraviolet radiation will be significantly high at level 10 and recommends maximum skin protection.

AEMET gave a public reminder about basic health issues such as the importance of drinking enough water, avoiding direct exposure to the sun - above all at the hottest hours of the day when it is high in the sky. Those most at risk are the elderly, children and those with serious health conditions.

Whilst the interior of the country and the Mediterranean regions swelter, the north of Spain will be experiencing a very different scenario. Although AEMET said that today the coast of Cantabria and the Basque Country will also be on yellow alert, it will be for a very different reason. The Met. Office has predicted possible violent northwest winds.

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