21 died from heatwave as high as 47ºC in Egypt

21 people have died and 66 others were hospitalized with exhaustion as increasing temperatures and high humidity hit Cairo and other parts of Egypt according to the health ministry.

All victims died on Sunday as the temperature soared as high as 47ºC (117 ºF).

The ministry said in a statement that 15 people died in Cairo, 4 in the Delta province of Qalibiya and 2 in Upper Egypt’s Qena province, were all aged over 60. 66 people were admitted to hospital after suffering from exhaustion, including 37 who are still under observation.

The ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said “There is a big rise in temperature compared with previous years. But the problem is the humidity which is affecting people more.”

The head of analysis in the Egyptian Meteorological Authority,  Waheed Soudi, confirmed that temperatures in the capital and some parts of the country were higher than average.

“The temperature is higher by four to five degrees than what is usually seen, and the humidity is very high this month,” he said.

“The peak temperature in the shade was 38ºC in Cairo on Sunday, which means it was 47ºC under the sun or in places with bad ventilation,” he added.