Update 15 May: As things stand, the orange alert is reduced from 7pm this evening. Tomorrow is still under alert, but yellow, for temperatures up to a maximum of 34º. Thursday should see temperatures reduce back to below alert level.
Update 14 May: It’s not giving up. The orange alert has been extended to tomorrow now, with temperatures of up to 37º expected.
Meanwhile, one of the two women taken to hospital in Gran Canaria in critical condition yesterday was released today. The other, though still seriously ill, is progressing favourably and is expected to be moved to a ward in the hospital from the Intensive Care Unit tomorrow.
The Canarian Government says that the walkers were part of an organized group and that it is investigating whether the tour company had complied with all the necessary requirements. Viceconsejero de Turismo, Ricardo Fernández de la Puente, said that tourism inspectors were looking into whether there were any irregularities in the excursion, given that tour companies would have known about the orange alert at the time the walk started.
The minister said that Turismo would only be involved if it transpired that the excursion organizers had everything in order, because if any kind of negligence were apparent, then it would be a matter for the Policía Nacional and the Courts.
Update 13 May 11.50pm: Several teams of bomberos fought a forest fire today in the El Cabezón area of Los Realejos. Some 16,000 square metres of gorse and pine forest were affected before the Cabildo declared the fire under control. Cabildo Environment Councillor Ana Lupe Mora is overseeing the firefighting efforts, and says that bomberos will remain in the mountain area until the fire is completely extinguished.
Update 13 May 11.15pm: Aemet has extended the orange alert for Tenerife with temperatures of up to 38º expected tomorrow.
Update 13 May 11pm: There are more details and a correction about this walking party.
The person who died was a 78-year-old British woman.
Another English woman of 66 was resuscitated from a heart attack and transferred in critical condition by helicopter to Hospital Universitario de Gran Canaria Doctor Negrín.
A 65-year-old English woman with breathing difficulties was transferred in critical condition by helicopter to Hospital Universitario de Gran Canaria Doctor Negrín.
A 61-year-old woman, and three men of 64, 65 and 69, all English, suffered minor difficulties due to the heat and were attended at the scene.
Update 13 May 5.30pm: A hiker has died and another seven have been affected, one seriously, in Gran Canaria’s Mogán municipality as a result of the heatwave. The group was walking in the barranco de San Andrés when they were overcome by the heat just after midday. Emergency services, including a search and rescue helicopter, attended the scene, but could do nothing for the man who died, and confirmed his death at the scene. A woman in the group was treated for respiratory problems and was taken by helicopter in serious condition to Hospital Universitario de Gran Canaria Doctor Negrín. The others affected received assistance at the scene.
Update 13 May: Aemet has increased the alert level to orange for Tenerife and all islands in the eastern province. The alert level, which represents temperatures up to 37º, at present lasts until 7pm this evening, when yellow is re-established for Tenerife, though the eastern province remains on orange through tomorrow, Monday. As things stand at the moment, the yellow alert for Tenerife and the western provinces is lifted for Tuesday, when the eastern province reduces from orange to yellow alert.
Update 12 May: The Canarian Government has issued its general advice for public health during calimas and heatwaves, as above. The public is advised to keep doors and windows closed, and for those with respiratory illnesses to stay indoors; to be sure to take any habitual medication; to drink a lot of liquid and avoid dry environments; not to do any hard physical exercise; and to go to the doctor if there is any suspicion of feeling unwell. Finally, since visibility is often considerably reduced, to drive with extreme care, with lights on and reduced speed.
Update 11 May 10pm: Aemet has issued a yellow alert for heatwave for Tenerife on Sunday. The yellow alert will apply to the eastern islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote from tomorrow, Saturday. Temperatures of above 34º are expected.
Update 11 May: The Tenerife Cabildo has banned the use of fireworks and controlled agricultural and forest fires in the mid-altitude and forest areas of Tenerife in the light of the high temperatures expected from this weekend, and asked the public to take the utmost care during this period. The heatwave is expected to last from Sunday until Thursday 17. The public BBQs have not been cordoned off, at least not at present.
Update 10 May: The temperature has already started to rise with the waft of hot air from Africa, and now a calima is forecast for the eastern islands between now and the weekend. If temperatures continue to rise as expected, and hit 34º on Saturday, Aemet will issue a Yellow alert.
Original post 8 May: This last week’s lovely weather is just a prelude, it seems, to what’s coming next week, with Aemet forecasting a fair rise of temperatures from Thursday. The Met Office says that some 30º or so can be expected throughout the Canaries, though no heatwave warning is being issued, at least at present. The increasing warmth should start to become noticeable throughout today and tomorrow.