Britain is on its way to its highest recorded day

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain was on track for its hottest day ever on Monday as temperatures were forecast to reach 40C for the first time, forcing train companies to cancel services and some schools to close while ministers urged the public to stay in the city. Homepage.

Most of Europe is baking in a heat wave that has pushed temperatures into the mid-40s (over 110 F) in some areas, with wildfires raging in dry rural areas of Portugal, Spain and France. Read more

The British government has launched a “national emergency” alert as temperatures on Monday and Tuesday are expected to exceed the 38.7 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) recorded in the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden in 2019.

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By midday, readings of around 35°C were recorded in southern England.

“We have a difficult 48 hours ahead,” Kate Malthouse, the minister in charge of government coordination, told BBC Radio. He will later chair the meeting of the Government’s Emergency Response Committee.

The National Rail Network urged passengers to travel only if necessary and said some services – including a major route between north-east England and London – would not operate during parts of Tuesday.

London’s underground network has imposed temporary speed limits, meaning it will operate a reduced service with journeys that take longer than usual. Passengers are urged to stay indoors.

Network Rail’s Jake Kelly said he hopes normal operations will resume on Wednesday, when temperatures are expected to drop, but that will depend on “the damage the weather does to infrastructure over the next couple of days.”

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high alert

The government urged schools to stay open but many were due to close earlier than usual, regular demands for uniforms were abandoned and end-of-term days were abolished. Some schools have been closed, resorting to online lessons in lockdown style.

The public has been warned not to swim in open water to calm down, with police in north-east England saying on Monday they had recovered the body believed to be of a 13-year-old who had struggled in a river.

At least one zoo, in Chester, said it would close for two days, while London Zoo and Wipsnad Zoo said many animals would be able to retreat to “cold areas” and some galleries might close.

Some factories also moved hours forward, to prevent workers in the hottest jobs, such as welding, from getting sick.

The Health Security Agency (UKHSA) raised the Health Heat Warning to Level 4 in England for Monday and Tuesday for the first time ever.

The UK Met Office defines a Level 4 Alert as a National Emergency, used when a heat wave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend beyond the health and social care system. At this level, disease and death may occur between fit and healthy, and not only in high-risk groups.”

The Met Office said “substantial” changes to work practices and daily routines would be required, and there was a significant risk of failure of heat-sensitive systems and equipment, which could lead to localized loss of power, water or mobile phone services.

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Malthouse said the government was prepared for severe weather and would seek to learn lessons from it.

“We definitely need to adapt the way we build buildings, the way we operate and look at some of our infrastructure in light of what appears to be an increasing frequency of these types of events,” he said.

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(Reporting by Kate Holton and Michael Holden). Editing by William Schomberg and Alex Richardson

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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