A heat wave and a wave of fires – it is a combination of two elements that Europe is facing this summer. Many thousands of hectares have already been burned, there are deaths. The temperature reaches historical records.
Extremely hot air, which hit south-west Europe last week, is now moving northwards, reaching over Great Britain and Germany.
In Great Britain The night from Monday to Tuesday turned out to be the hottest in the history of measurements, and Tuesday will probably break the all-time record for maximum temperature. Weather forecasters forecast that it will be over 40 degrees Celsius.
Already at 10 o’clock the temperature was above 37 degrees. In Charlwood, Surrey, 37.3 degrees Celsius was measured. Thermometer values are rising rapidly, the Met Office reports.
“Infrastructure is not prepared”
“This will probably be the hottest day in the UK, and the infrastructure built in the Victorian era is simply not prepared to withstand this temperature,” said British Transport Minister Grant Shapps in an interview with the BBC. There has already been a lot of travel disruption, he added. Trains on some lines have stopped running.
The British railway company Network Rail reported significant difficulties on Monday evening. In Sullfok, a record rail temperature was recorded, amounting to 62 degrees C. It was added that the temperature of the rails may be higher by about 20 degrees C than the air temperature, which will make them deform.
Flights to and from Luton Airport near London were completely suspended on Monday afternoon. The reason was damage to the runway due to the heat wave.
It may be close to the record at our neighbors
According to the German meteorological service (DWD), on Tuesday in Germany temperatures from 34 to 38 degrees Celsius are possible, and in the southwest and west of the country even up to 40 degrees C. The hottest day so far this year was June 19 – in Cottbus and Dresden 39.2 degrees of C.
Temperatures in Germany may rise to 40 degrees Celsius in some places on Tuesday. It is supposed to be the warmest day this year so far. The health service calls for caution, especially among the elderly and the weak. The all-time heat record in Germany is 41.2 degrees C measured in Duisburg on July 25, 2019. “It is possible that we will enter similar ranges along the Rhine on Tuesday,” DWD spokesman Andreas Friedrich told newspapers. – But it doesn’t really matter if it’s going to be 38 or 40 degrees on Tuesday. There will be a heat wave, it can be said with certainty – he emphasized.
Spain: casualties, tens of thousands of burnt hectares, evacuations
After more than a week of more than 40-degree heat, the temperatures in Spain and Portugal are dropping, but firefighters are battling many fires.
More than 30 vegetation fires are active in Spain. The authorities point out that it is particularly important to extinguish four fires in Castile and Leon and Galicia. In Losaco in the province of Zamora in the northwest of the country, two people were killed and three seriously injured. Six thousand people from 32 localities were evacuated there. So far, an area of 70,000 hectares has burned in Spain, about twice the average of the last decade.
The fire does not go out in Portugal and France
In Portugal, more than 1,000 firefighters fight the top five fires. One erupted in Murça in the Vila Real district in the north of the country, then spread to two municipalities. Hundreds of people were evacuated. District emergency services reported finding two charred bodies of an elderly couple inside a burned vehicle. Authorities suspect the couple tried to escape the flames by car.
The fire is still raging in the Gironde department on the south-west coast of France. In this part of the country, 34,000 people have had to leave their homes. About 19,300 ha were burnt for a week or so.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / NEIL HALL