Europe Scorched By Intense Heat, UK Experiencing Its Third-Hottest Day Ever

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  • Firefighters steadied the flames in Mijas in the southeastern Málaga province and said evacuated people could return home.
  • In addition to Gironde, Météo-France issued a heatwave red alert to a total of 15 departments in western and southwestern regions, as temperatures are expected to reach as high as 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit) Monday.
  • The agency said the heat wave would end Monday, but it warned that temperatures would remain “abnormally high.”

Parts of western Europe are experiencing extreme heat, with wildfires blazing in France and Spain, a drought in Portugal that is becoming worse, and the third warmest day ever recorded in the UK on Monday as reported by CNN.

Forced evacuation

Fire has spread across 27,000 acres in the Gironde department of southwest France, forcing 32,000 people to evacuate, the local prefecture said Monday night.

Major cities in Western France, such as Nantes and Brest, also hit new heat records, it said.

In Finistère, on the country’s Atlantic coast, fires had first been reported on Monday afternoon; less than eight hours later, the flames had decimated more than 700 acres of land, prompting the evacuation of several villages.

In Spain, wildfires swept the central region of Castile and Léon, as well as the northern region of Galicia Sunday, Reuters reported.

Fire also forced the state railway company to suspend service between Madrid and Galicia.

“Seventy-thousand hectares, to give you an idea, is almost double the last decade’s average,” he said.

Heatwave deaths 

The heat wave in Portugal has intensified a pre-existing drought and sparked wildfires in central parts of the country, including in the village of Memoria, in the Leiria municipality.

The country’s Carlos III Health Institute on Monday estimated a cumulative total of more than 510 heatwave-related deaths in the country, based on a statistical calculation of excess deaths.

Hundreds have also died in neighbouring Portugal, where sweltering temperatures exacerbate a severe drought.

On Saturday, Portugal’s Health Ministry said 659 mainly elderly people had died in the previous seven days, Reuters reported.

In total, over 1,100 people are thought to have died due to the ongoing heatwave in southern Europe.

‘Peak of intensity’

Early this week is when the brutal heat wave is predicted to peak.

Paris, France’s capital, is predicted to hit 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday as the heatwave spreads over the nation.

Officials in the UK issued a warning that conditions would probably deteriorate after Monday’s temperature at Santon Downham, in eastern England, reached 38.1 degrees, making it the third warmest day ever recorded.

The UK’s Met Office director said that Monday could be the “hottest day” on record.

According to Penelope Endersby, CEO of the Met Office, Tuesday “is anticipated to be even hotter.”

Endersby said on Monday on BBC Radio that the day with the greatest likelihood of temperatures reaching 40 degrees will be tomorrow.

“41 is not out of the question, and conceivably higher. Even though we have some 43s in the model, we’re hopeful it won’t be that high.”

On Tuesday, it is anticipated that the heat wave in France will shift from the west to the centre and east of the country, including Paris.

Tuesday, the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (KMI/IRM) issued a “code red” weather alert for heat in two provinces, predicting temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius in the west and southwest.

“Certain precautions will be required due to the extremely high temperatures: drink frequently, dress in lighter clothing, spend the day in cooler places, constantly check your health, eat easily digestible food (and in smaller portions), and keep doors and windows closed to keep the heat out. Animals and pets also require more care,” locals were forewarned.

Facing drought

According to academics at the EU Commission, the UK and over half of Europe’s territory are “in danger” of drought.

The drought in parts of Europe is “serious,” according to the Joint Research Centre, as the “winter-spring precipitation shortfall… was aggravated by early heatwaves in May and June.”

According to the research, the water supply may become “compromised” in the upcoming months.

Professor Myles Allen of Oxford University cautioned that if humankind doesn’t quickly reduce its carbon emissions, such heat waves will be unavoidable in an interview with CNN on Monday.

We simply have a trend toward ever-higher temperatures, so this isn’t a new normal, Allen told CNN on Monday.

He argued that radical change in the energy sector is the answer. Due to worries about losing competitiveness with competitors, individual organisations are unlikely to modify their business strategies unilaterally, he added.

It needs to be regulated for the entire sector, according to Allen.

 

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Source: CNN

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