This summer in the Balearics has been a very hot and harsh one. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

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At last temperatures are gradually starting to cool down slightly in the Balearics after a record-breaking summer.

This year we have had three heat waves, until now only two had been recorded in the same period. Moreover, they are much longer than usual.

Although the first one, in June, lasted only a few days, the one in July lasted 13 days and the one in August lasted 13 days.

A heat wave is declared when the temperature exceeds 36ºC for more than three consecutive days.

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The meteorologist and former delegate of the territorial delegation of the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) in the Balearics Agustí Jansà said that "this year is rare", although he predicts that "we will have a summer as hot as this one more and more often".

And, this summer was not only the hottest on record in Spain but also the deadliest in 20 years, as thousands of people have died from heat-related causes on top of the high death toll associated with COVID-19.

According to the latest report of the Carlos III Health Institute's Daily Mortality Monitoring System, the heatwave that lasted from July 9 to July 26 with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in many places was responsible for 2,223 of the 11,264 deaths registered in July. Last summer, the respective figures were 568 and 2,385.

"Most at risk are the very young and very old or those with a chronic illness that prevents them from hydrating themselves or those who are unable to avoid the heat, for example, due to a mobility problem or because of significant obesity that can put them in danger," Dr. Emilio Salgado, senior specialist in the Emergency Department of Barcelona's Hospital Clinic, said.

Spain's Ministry of Health reported 3,795 COVID-19-related deaths between July 1 and August 14, raising the total death toll of the coronavirus pandemic in the country to 111,906.