Heatwave and ozone plan launched as temperatures soar
The Belgian Interregional Environment Agency has launched the official warning phase of its ozone and heatwave plan today. Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 30 to 35 degrees this week, with a minor reprieve on Wednesday and slightly cooler temperatures at the coast.
Organisations including rest homes and schools will receive warnings and advice about keeping people fully hydrated and out of the sun. Children and the elderly are most at risk of becoming dehydrated and suffering from heat-related illnesses, according to Joris Moonens of Flanders’ Care and Health Agency.
Meanwhile, mayors in West Flanders have implemented a temporary ban on pumping water from streams, other natural bodies of water and from water retention basins. With the warm weather and lack of rain recently, farmers have been turning to water reserves to water their crops, but some municipalities are concerned about shortages.
West Flemish governor Carl Decaluwé has banned the practice in the north of the province, and the mayors of Ypres and Poperinge have also implemented a stay on the pumping of excess water.