Forecasters warned that a record-breaking heat wave might pose “risk to life” in the U.K. as sweltering temperatures sparked wildfires and sparked weather alerts in numerous European nations. The national weather service of Britain issued the nation’s first-ever “red warning” for extremely high temperatures for Monday and Tuesday, prompting the government to convene a meeting of its emergency committee, known as Cobra, on Saturday.
The Meteorological Office, often known as the Met Office, stated on its website that “it extremely likely that there will be a risk to life, with major disruption to travel, energy supplies, and probably widespread damage to property and infrastructure.” Following the U.K. Health Security Agency’s raising of its heat-health warning from level three to level four, which is equivalent to a national emergency, it happened.
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The Met Office predicted that temperatures in southern England would hit 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday. Additionally, they might surpass the 101.7 degree mark set by the United Kingdom in July 2019. Because of this, government officials in a nation where homes with air conditioning are uncommon have advised citizens not to use public transit, and several schools have announced that they will hold lessons remotely.
According to long-range climate estimates by 2040, temperatures in major British cities like London and Manchester are expected to be reached. Nearly 104 degree highs are anticipated. Parts of France and Spain are also expected to experience sweltering heat, with a high of 107.6 degrees expected on Monday. Wildfires in the Bordeaux region of southwest France have caused 12,200 people to leave their homes, according to a statement released on Saturday by the local government for the Gironde Department.
Since Tuesday, two fires have scorched 25,000 acres of land, including woodlands south of the French resort town of Arcachon. Nearly 1,200 firemen and four specialised planes are attempting to put out the fires. Even though one of the fires had been mostly put out, the department warned that greater temperatures and strong winds this weekend would make things more difficult for firefighters.