Heat in southern and western Europe: Great Britain breaks heat record

Status: 07/19/2022 2:56 pm

For the first time in Great Britain it has been measured above 40 degrees. Fierce forest fires are burning in Spain, particularly in Zamora. Road salt is used in the Netherlands – to cool roads and bridges.

In southern and western Europe, people are sweating profusely, and the situation is sometimes dramatic due to droughts and fires. In England Temperatures in the interior crossed 40 degrees for the first time. Around 40.2 degrees was measured at London Heathrow in the afternoon. The British Meteorological Service announced that 39.1 degrees Celsius was recorded in Charlewood near London in the morning. So far, it has been 38.7 degrees, which was reached in 2019.

Train traffic has been suspended in some parts of the country due to extreme heat. Route network operator Network Rail has announced that operations on major rail lines on the English east coast and the Midlands have been completely suspended. People have been urged to change their travel plans.

“We have not taken these decisions lightly. Our engineers have been working very hard to assess the resilience of the infrastructure in this record heat and we have decided we have no choice but to close,” Network Rail chief manager Jack Kelly said. BBC.

Disruptions at airports too

The British Met Office issued a red weather warning for the first time last weekend due to high temperatures. According to the Met Office, Tuesday night was the warmest since records began.

The extreme heat has already caused significant disruption at London Luton Airport. The airport said the runway surface was damaged due to high temperatures. According to reports, several flights had to be canceled or diverted.

Air pollution in France

In France The authorities ordered to impose traffic restrictions due to air pollution due to heat and sun. In the Grand Est region in the eastern part of the country, drivers must reduce their speed to 20 km/h on motorways and dual carriageways.

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Earlier, the highest temperatures were recorded in many places in France since measurements began. In Brest, on Brittany’s Atlantic coast, the temperature soared to 39.3 degrees Celsius, more than four degrees above the previous record. 40.3 degrees was measured in Nantes, where the previous record of 40.3 degrees came from 1949.

He was arrested on suspicion of arson

Meanwhile, a suspect has been arrested in connection with a wildfire in southwestern France’s Gironde region that has already destroyed nearly 20,000 hectares of forest. The investigation into the fire in the municipality of Landras has revealed that arson is suspected, the Bordeaux public prosecutor said. The investigation will continue with further forensic investigations and questioning of witnesses.

According to the prosecutor, witnesses noticed how a car was quickly removed from the scene of the fire. According to investigators, there were other fires in the area that same day, and three more explosions in subsequent days. More than 34,000 people have fled their homes in the region since the fire broke out about a week ago.

The heat wave moves eastward

In the second wildfire in La Teste-de-Buch near Arcachon, authorities believe a delivery van caught fire. A nursing home had to be evacuated.

The heat wave in France is now expected to ease somewhat in the western part of the country. The weather service Météo-France raised the extreme heat warning level for 15 departments on the Atlantic coast. However, the second highest alert level still applies to 73 of the 101 departments in France. In the east of the country it should warm up to 40 degrees.

The Netherlands: Cooler roads for road salt

And inside Belgium And this Netherlands The Meteorological Department expects the maximum temperature to be above 40 degrees Celsius. Code Orange applies to both countries. People should avoid physical exertion, drink plenty of water, and stay out of the sun if possible.

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Road salt is now used in the Netherlands to cool bridges and roads. Salt removes moisture from the air, which cools the streets – damage that must be prevented, according to the municipality of Hartenberg. In Amsterdam, movable bridges over canals were cooled by water to prevent the steel from over-expanding. Then the bridges cannot be opened for boats.

High ozone warnings

Ozone concentration in the air also increases due to warming. According to the EU climate change service Copernicus, values ​​above 200 micrograms per cubic meter have recently been measured in southern Europe – in countries such as Portugal, Spain and Italy. It is highly regarded for both people and the environment. Copernicus warned that levels could rise to health-threatening levels in northwest Europe.

Too much ozone in the air we breathe can cause headaches, coughing or tears. During physical exertion, ozone penetrates deep into the lung tissue, damaging the tissue and causing inflammation.

Homes evacuated in Tuscany due to wildfires

In Italy Bozen, Brescia, Florence and Perugia suffer from hot temperatures and bitter air. Also, fire brigades are on constant vigil here, fighting forest and bush fires across the country. Sicily’s civil defense has declared a high risk of forest fires in some areas.

In Tuscany, the Italian fire brigade brought many residents to safety due to a large forest fire. The fire department said the fire broke out in the municipality of Masarossa, north of Pisa. According to the Tuscan Civil Defense, winds blowing from the northeast pushed the flames further, causing them to threaten houses as well. About 30 people were evacuated from these. Meanwhile, authorities have repeatedly blocked the traffic bridge connecting Lucca and Viareggio.

Fire also in Spain and Portugal

Also in areas Spain And Portugal still burns. In Spain alone, at least 60,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed by fire since last week – which corresponds to 80 percent of the area of ​​Hamburg. “As for the fire, it’s the worst emergency,” civil defense director Leonardo Marcos told radio station Catana Ser.

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There are a total of six major fire complexes in the country. The situation was particularly dire in Zamora, near the border with Portugal, and Ávila, northwest of Madrid. In the two provinces of Castile and Leon, around 10,000 people from around 50 towns have been brought to safety from the fires since Sunday. In Zamora alone, two fires have already leveled 30,000 hectares of forest. Two people have already died and at least 15 have been injured.

Dozens of homes were destroyed in Zamora, Ávila and across Spain, with regional officials saying thousands of animals died in Zamora alone. “Zamora is going to hell,” headlined digital newspaper Zamora News.

Three large forest fires are still active in Portugal, which is being battled by nearly 800 emergency services. Many died in the fire or heat stroke.

Crete: Thousands of olive trees destroyed

On the Greek island of Crete, a fierce fire destroyed large areas of farmland south of the port city of Rethymno. This was announced by the mayor of the region, Giannis Tatrakis, to the Greek news channel “Real FM”. So far it has more than 1850 hectares. “It’s mainly olive trees. Many people have no income,” the mayor said.

Firefighters, firefighting helicopters, firefighting planes and hundreds of firefighters and volunteers battled the blaze. It erupted last weekend, state radio reported. Severe drought and strong winds are causing fire hazards across the South Greece Too high, Civil Defense warned.

Overall, however, Greece currently enjoys a relatively pleasant temperature of 30 degrees. It shouldn’t warm up until the weekend, but only for a little while. A meteorologist said on state radio that the heat in western Europe would not penetrate the east in full force.

With information from Nadia Aboulwafi, ARD Studio Brussels

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