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Heat wave in Europe: unprecedented heat wave in Great Britain, heat records in France

<p>On the pier in Blackpool in the northwest of England, July 17, 2022</p>
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<p class=“Hotter than the Sahara”: the United Kingdom is experiencing an unprecedented heat wave, the threshold of 40°C can even be reached on Tuesday, and France is experiencing heat records and a blazing sun on Monday.

This heat wave is the second in barely a month in Europe. The multiplication of these phenomena is a direct consequence of global warming according to scientists, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.

For the first time, the British Health Security Agency has issued a level 4 alert, the highest level, corresponding to a national emergency, warning of the risks that the heat poses even to young people and / or in healthy.

“Hotter than the Sahara”, headlines the tabloid The Sun on Monday.

“Global warming is really here. We must act in the face of this phenomenon … and also learn to live with it,” commented Gary Evans, 68, retired in the seaside resort of Tankerton, in the south of France. east of the country.

“It’s a sign of what’s to come…and of course it’s a huge concern for their future,” mother Ceri Sherlock says, gesturing to her children as she walks through the this seaside resort.

On the other hand, Dave Williams, a 64-year-old plumber, criticizes the fact that we talk about the heat wave “as if we had never known a summer”. “If it’s not Brexit, it’s the climate: we really don’t know how to talk about anything else?” he exclaims.

The hottest temperatures in Britain are expected for Tuesday and could exceed the 40°C threshold, a first in the country. The British record dates back to July 25, 2019, with 38.7 degrees recorded in Cambridge, in the east of England.

<p>UK heat wave</p>
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<p class=Schools in some counties will remain closed, while major transportation disruptions are expected.

– Thousands of people evacuated in France –

In France, the heat increased on Monday at the height of the heatwave episode: the map of the country turned crimson over a large part of the Atlantic coast, with 15 departments in red vigilance for heatwave and a first historic temperature record beaten in Brest (west) with 35.8°C, against 35.2°C recorded in the city in 1949.

Some 8,000 people are also being “preventively evacuated” on Monday from two districts of La Teste-de-Buch (south-west), a town in the very touristy Arcachon basin affected by a huge fire for several days, on the edge of the Atlantic, announced the prefecture.

The department of Gironde has been hit by two gigantic fires for a week, in La Teste-de-Buch and Landiras, which have already burned more than 13,000 hectares of vegetation.

Spain, for its part, has been in the grip of a suffocating heat wave for more than a week which has caused numerous fires which have ravaged tens of thousands of hectares across the country.

<p>A helicopter drops water on a forest fire in the Sierra de Mijas near Malaga in Andalusia, July 15, 2022</p>
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<p class=On Monday, almost all of Spain remained on “extreme risk” fire alert, the highest level. The country, which has been suffocating since July 10 with highs well above 40 degrees and falling little at night, should experience a very short respite at the start of the week.

“Climate change kills people (…) but also our ecosystem, our biodiversity”, reacted the president of the government Pedro Sanchez on Monday.

– Hottest day of the year in the Netherlands –

<p>A firefighter lights a backfire near Louchats in Gironde, July 17, 2022.</p>
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<p class=After beating its temperature record for the month of July on Thursday, with 47°C recorded in the north of the country, Portugal should experience a much cooler day, putting an end to a heatwave episode of more than a week.

In central and northern Portugal, some 800 firefighters were still fighting four fires on Monday.

In Spain, the raging fires caused the death of a shepherd in the northwest of the country, a second death after that of a firefighter on Sunday in the same area.

The Netherlands recorded its hottest day of the year so far on Monday, with temperatures reaching at least 33.6 degrees in the southwestern town of Westdorpe. The Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has issued a “code orange” for Tuesday, when temperatures could reach 38-39°C in the south and center of the Netherlands.

Belgium also fears heat records on Tuesday, the thermometer can climb in places up to 40 ° C, according to the Royal Institute of Meteorology (IRM). Schedules have been arranged for certain trades exposed to heat.

In Norway, the Meteorological Institute expects the thermometer to exceed 30°C in the coming days in southern Norway. However, the national record of 35.6°C recorded in 1970 should not be beaten.


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