Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A blistering heat wave in the Netherlands last month is responsible for hundreds of deaths, government figures showed Friday.
The Dutch Center for Statistics said about 400 people died amid the above-normal heat, which set multiple weather records for the month of July.
The heat wave that ran from July 22-27 pushed temperatures as high as 104 degrees for the first time since they were first tracked in 1901.
The Oost-Nederland region suffered the brunt of the deaths, Statistics Netherlands said. The data show residents 80 and over were most affected -- accounting for about three quarters of all related deaths.
Marcel Olde Rikkert, head of the Center of Excellence for Geriatrics, said seniors are often not strong enough to withstand such sustained heat.
"It was to be expected because the heat was intense," Rikkert told Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. "It caused me problems, so imagine how it was for people with little physical strength."
Volkskrant reported a Dutch preparedness plan -- which instructs citizens how to respond to extreme heat -- may have saved countless lives last month.