There are dire warnings that thousands of Britons could die in the coming days as record temperatures sweep the country in a “heat apocalypse”.
There are warnings that there could be “thousands of excess deaths” across the UK in the coming days as an unprecedented heatwave could potentially bring the normally cold country its hottest day yet.
The air temperature in some places reaches 41°Cwhich makes Britain hotter than parts of the Sahara.
And the UK is not alone. Much of Western Europe is sweltering with desert heat from North Africa. Areas of western France have been compared to a “thermal apocalypse” when the mercury column rises to forty degrees as thousands of hectares of land burn in raging and deadly forest fires.
More than 1,000 people have died in continental Europe due to extreme heat.
London is expected to hit 36 degrees on Monday and 39 degrees on Tuesday. It is predicted that in Worksop, a town in England near Nottingham, it will warm up to 41 degrees Celsius.
The average summer temperature in the UK is usually around 19-24°C.
Temperatures reached 35.3°C in Gogerddan in west Wales on Monday, making it the hottest day in Wales on record.
The previous hottest day in the UK was on 25 July 2019, when temperatures reached 38.7°C in Cambridge in the east of England.
“Thousands Might Die”
The Met Office, Britain’s equivalent of the Bureau of Meteorology, issued a ‘red alert’ for extreme heat on both Monday and Tuesday.
The warning zone covers most of southern, central and northern England, including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
A smaller “amber warning” applies to the rest of England, Wales and southern Scotland.
The Met Office told the British what to expect: “Adverse health effects for the entire population, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat leading to serious illness or danger to life.”
The Met Office has issued a red extreme heat warning for the first time since it introduced the new classification last year.
Together with the director general of the Office, Professor Penelope Endersby, said the deaths were on the cards.
“These temperatures are unprecedented in the UK and we are not used to dealing with them,” she said in an interview. daily mail.
“And the heat is undoubtedly the cause of many hundreds, thousands of excess deaths during heatwaves, so people need to be careful and follow the advice we give about staying in the shade, staying cool, staying hydrated and so on.”
Professor Endersby added that warmer temperatures are “unattainable in the UK without changing of the climate“.
Infrastructure impacts are also expected as systems not designed for the expected levels of heat crack under stress. People were advised to change their daily routine to avoid the sun.
Luton Airport, north of London, was forced to cancel all flights on Monday afternoon after part of the runway melted.
There are fears that hospitals in the UK could be closed due to heat-related injuries. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, large sections of the British rail network will be closed due to fears of accidents due to deformations of the railway tracks due to scorching temperatures. Some schools have also closed.
But British beaches were crowded, from England’s often fragrant southern coats to the much milder Scottish coast, people flocked to the seas.
In Spain and Portugal, more than 1,000 deaths in the past few days have been attributed to the same weather system, which saw temperatures in excess of 30 degrees day after day.
At the main airport in Madrid, 42°C was recorded on Thursday last week. In Piñao in northern Portugal, the mercury rose to 47°C on the same day.
The conditions led to wildfires engulfing the continent, with several deaths confirmed.
Fires have been recorded in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece and France. In Gironde, an area in southern France, 14,000 hectares of land were destroyed by fire.
Speaking to AFP, the meteorologist warned of “The thermal apocalypse” in 15 regions of France.
The peak of heat is expected on Tuesday. But then it should drop quickly to more tolerable summer temperatures as cooler air from the Atlantic pushes desert air out of the British Isles. London, for example, is forecast to fall from a high of 39°C on Tuesday to 25°C on Wednesday.
Originally published as Dire warning: Thousands could die as record-breaking heat wave across Europe