Brazil swelters in heatwave as health warnings issued across country

Power consumption in country reaches record levels due to increased use of air conditioners, fans and refrigerators

Temperatures have soared in Brazil amid a heatwave that has seen red alerts issued for nearly 3,000 towns and cities across the country and record electricity consumption recorded.

More than a hundred million people have been affected by the heatwave, which is expected to extend until at least Friday. Officials have attributed it to the El Niño phenomenon and climate change.

National weather agency Inmet issued a heatwave warning last week, when forecasts indicated temperatures were set to be five degrees above average for two to three consecutive days in centrewestern and southeastern Brazil.

Several areas of the country including its two most populous cities, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, have seen temperatures surge in recent days.


São Paulo on Monday registered a maximum high of 37.7 degrees, which weather forecaster Climatempo said was the highest for a November day in the city since 1943.

Electricity consumption in Brazil broke records on Monday afternoon, topping 100.95 gigawatts for the first time.

National power system operator ONS had seen a trend of high electricity use during high temperatures in recent months, even before the usual spike when the Southern Hemisphere’s summer starts in December.

Brazil's constant heatwaves have been forcing residents to increase the use of equipment such as air conditioners, fans and refrigerators.

To meet the increased power demand, ONS has been activating more thermoelectric plants in recent days, especially in the afternoons. – Agencies