Soaring temperatures, low rainfall in Spain raise serious concerns of prolonged drought

Soaring April temperatures in Spain, coinciding with some of the lowest rainfall in recent years, are causing serious concerns of a prolonged drought across the nation.

Spain experienced record-breaking temperatures in April, with the southern city of Cordoba hitting 38.8 degrees Celsius on Thursday, a temperature that is usually expected in the hotter months of the summer.

The extraordinary heatwave has been caused by hot air circulating north from Africa, pushing temperatures 8 to 12 degrees Celsius higher than usual.

"Statistically speaking, this is not normal. We are suffering an anomaly, compared to the average temperatures for this time of year. Eight degrees higher! That is outrageous," said Cayetano Torres, a spokesman for the State Meteorological Agency in Spain.

Politicians in Malaga have proposed measures to mitigate these extreme weather events, such as setting up so-called "climate refuge areas" which would provide more shaded areas, more trees, and increased access to public water sources.

Across Andalucia, heat has spiked in cities like Seville and Granada, with many places expecting the thermometer to hit 40 degrees Celsius over the next few days.

Water levels in reservoirs across Andalucia have fallen to 25 percent of their capacity, with similar levels in Catalonia in northeastern Spain.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the government sees the drought as "one of the central political and territorial debates for Spain over the coming years."

Climate experts have been sounding the alarm on such extreme weather conditions and have called for countries to work together to tackle the causes of the climate crisis, which they say is now more urgent than ever.

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