Heatwave sees surge in drowning victims in Poland, Lithuania

Agence-France-Presse . Warsaw | Published: 00:00, Jul 02,2019


Nearly 150 people drowned, the vast majority of them men, in Poland and neighbouring Lithuania in June as temperatures soared to record highs, officials said on Monday.

Poland’s Government Centre for Security (RCB) said that 113 people drowned in June, including ten on Sunday alone, as the EU country of 38 million people sizzled. 

‘As successive heatwaves set in, not a day went by in June without someone drowning,’ Bozena Wysocka, an RCB spokeswoman said on Monday, adding that 90 per cent of the victims were male.

Alcohol consumption and recklessness were cited among the leading causes.

Thirty-two people drowned in neighbouring Lithuania, fire and rescue officials said.

The death toll, which included 26 men, was the highest in the last five years in the Baltic state of 2.8 million.

Poland recorded its highest ever June temperature with mercury soaring to 38.2 degrees Celsius.

Lithuanian temperatures also hit a record June high of 35.7 degrees Celsius, forcing school closures and threatening crops.

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