Three people died of dehydration and another passed away because of hyperthermia last weekend, the health authorities said, as Malta continues to sizzle in a heatwave. 

Times of Malta is informed that other people have died since as a result of the excessive heat and that a number of magisterial inquiries are looking into the deaths. 

In a statement, the health authorities said 34 people had died in the past weekend, with most passing away due to cardiovascular conditions or chronic exacerbations of other chronic conditions, according to the health authorities. 

The ages of the victims were not given.

Sources said several individuals, especially the elderly, sought help from hospitals and health centres in the past few days as they struggled with temperatures hovering over 40 degrees.

Between July 17 and 21, four patients were admitted to Mater Dei Hospital's emergency department with the triage notes including terms like heatstroke, sunstroke, hyperthermia and sunburn.

The health authorities are again alerting on the effect of the heatwave on the health of everyone but especially vulnerable persons and to take actions that protect health and seek medical support if they have any signs or symptoms of heat effects.

The deaths come as Malta struggles through a week-long heatwave coupled with a series of power cuts lasting days at a time in some places. 

On Monday, the mercury rose to 42.7°C, equalling the highest-ever temperature registered in July. Meteorologists expect temperatures to drop significantly starting from Wednesday. 

Enemalta has blamed prolonged high temperatures for a series of faults on its distribution network, saying the heat is "burning up" underground cables.

The situation was made worse for some who experienced power cuts, leaving them unable to cool their homes. 

Senior citizens are especially vulnerable to heat stress, as older bodies find it harder to adjust to rapid shifts in temperature. 

In an attempt to mitigate such heat-related issues, the Active Ageing Ministry has said over 65s impacted by power cuts can spend the daytime at state-run care homes.


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