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Another severe heat wave is hitting Britain in France, with temperatures expected to exceed 40C on Tuesday for the first time in the country’s history.
The previous record high in Britain was 38.7 degrees Celsius from July 25, 2019.
A heat wave hits Western Europe, causing wildfires, especially in southwestern France.
It is the second heat wave to hit Europe in a month, with violent fires raging in the Iberian Peninsula and France.
Scientists say the proliferation of heat waves is a direct result of climate warming as emissions of greenhouse gases increase their intensity, duration and frequency.
The east of England recorded 38.1 degrees Celsius on Monday, the highest temperature of the year and the third highest in the UK. Wales recorded a high of 37.1 degrees Celsius, while London reached 37.5 degrees.
For the first time, Britain’s Health Protection Agency has issued a Category 4 warning warning of the dangers of heat even for young or otherwise healthy people.
Some schools are closed and public transport disruptions are expected.
On the political front, the government was accused of reckless handling of the heat wave. He criticized outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson for not attending an emergency meeting on the crisis on Sunday, preferring to attend a farewell party at his London home.
The medical community also condemned comments by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who called on Britons to “enjoy the sun”.
In neighboring Ireland, Dublin recorded 33 degrees Celsius on Monday, the highest since 1887.
On Monday, the highest temperature of the year was recorded in the Netherlands, reaching 35.4 degrees Celsius in the city of Vestorp in the southwest of the country. On Tuesday, temperatures in the south and center of the country could reach 39 degrees, approaching the record high of 40.7 degrees recorded in the Netherlands on July 25, 2019.
According to the Royal Meteorological Institute, Belgium expects temperatures to reach 40 degrees Celsius. Specific working hours have been set for certain heat-affected industries.
In France, after several record highs recorded on Monday, temperatures on the Atlantic front are likely to drop significantly on Tuesday, as a heat wave moves to the east of the country, Meteo France said.
Several cities recorded record temperatures, including Brest (north-west) at 39.3 degrees, Nantes (centre-west) at 42 degrees and Biscarros (south-west) at 42.6 degrees. The absolute record high in the country started on June 28, 2019 at Ferag (South) and reached 46 degrees Celsius.
France is still dealing with two massive fires in the Bordeaux region that have so far burned 17,000 hectares of forest.
16,000 people were evacuated in the two affected areas, while temperatures exceeded forty degrees Celsius, with the number of people evacuating their homes reaching 32,000 within six days.
At the foot of the Don de Bella dune site, five campsites were “90% burned,” local officials said. Over 6,000 vacationers were evacuated from the area last week. Several explosions were heard Monday afternoon from gas cylinders left in deserted campsites and restaurants.
“High fire risk in Spain”
A suffocating heat wave has dominated Spain for more than a week, leading to the spread of several fires that have swept tens of thousands of hectares.
A maximum fire warning remained in place for most of the country on Monday. Spain, which has been hit by a heatwave since July 10th and has been experiencing heatwaves of over forty degrees Celsius, is expected to see some improvement at the beginning of this week.
“Climate change is killing people and (…) destroying our environment and our biodiversity,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
Portugal is seeing some improvement in terms of high temperatures, with firefighters battling four blazes in the center and north of the country. The civil defense said four people died, five were injured and 960 were evacuated from the forest fire.
The European Commission said on Monday that half of the European Union is now at risk of drought due to a prolonged period of declining rainfall, with agricultural crops likely to fail in countries such as France, Romania, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
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