Heatwave is leading us into public health crisis as hottest day ever loomsWith potentially record-breaking high temperatures in the coming days, the government is being warned it must do more to protect vulnerable people in extreme heat.
The mercury is set to hit 35°C on Thursday and rise further to 37°C on Friday, triggering a thunderstorm warning into the afternoon. There is a chance the high temperatures could even beat the all-time UK record of 38.5°C, the Met Office has said. National Women’s Surf Champion Lucy Campbell aged 23, enjoy the hot weather at the Woolacombe beach in Devon.
Tourists enjoying the sunshine whilst visiting Bibury which is one the most picturesque villages in the Cotswolds. Forecasters say today could be the hottest day of the year so far
The forecaster’s yellow weather warning for torrential downpours, accompanied by hail and strong gusts on Friday afternoon and into the evening, has been extended to cover the south east of England, as well as northern and eastern parts of the country.
A mix of toxic air, extreme highs, emissions from the continent and a lack of cloud cover have caused a ‘high’ air pollution alert to be issued for London. Air quality alerts will be displayed at bus stops, river piers, on busy roads and at the entrances to London Underground stations on Thursday. Mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘This is the second time in six months that we have had to use the “high” alert system and shows just why air pollution is a public health crisis.’ Children, the elderly and people with lung or heart problems have been advised to reduce strenuous exercise and physical exertion.
People enjoying the heatwave today on Bournemouth beach in Dorset as the hot weather continues across the UK. There are fears that the heatwave could cause a health crisis Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been urged to set out what measures he is taking to make sure the NHS can cope with the heatwave.
Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said hospitals are facing year-round pressures, saying ‘the traditional lull in NHS activity during the quieter summer months is a thing of the past’. Blood supplies have dropped, health officials have said, saying some people have been too dehydrated to donate while others have chosen to stay in the sun.
MPs have warned heat-related deaths will treble by mid-century unless the Government takes action to tackle the dangers of soaring summer temperatures. Without the government developing a strategy to protect vulnerable people, such as the elderly, numbers dying from the heat could rise to 7,000 a year by 2050, a report from the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee said.
People enjoying the heatwave on Tynemouth beach on North Tyneside. It proved too much for this combine harvester which set on fire. The committee called on the Government to take action to ensure homes, hospitals, care homes, offices, cities, water supplies and transport networks can cope with rising temperatures. Scientists have warned that climate change is making such heat extremes more likely, and the report comes as northern Europe swelters in a prolonged heatwave.
Wildfires in Greece have claimed the lives of at least 80 people, including Irishman Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp, who was there on honeymoon. He and his new wife Zoe Holohan, who is in hospital after suffering burns to her head and hands, had flown to Greece on Saturday following their wedding in Co Meath two days earlier.
An amber ‘heat health watch’ warning remains in place for parts of England, with people being warned to try to stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm. The mercury is set to hit 35C on Thursday and rise further to 37C on Friday, triggering a thunderstorm warning into the afternoon.
There is a chance the high temperatures could even beat the all-time UK record of 38.5C, the Met Office has said. Howden Reservoir’s water level is dramatically low after the prolonged heatwave. Following the driest first half of summer on record, farming leaders warned crops are being hit and livestock are left eating feed that would usually be held for winter as grasslands are parched.
The dry spell has been most prolonged in East Anglia and south east England where the last day of very widespread rainfall was seen on 29 May. Firefighters have urged the public to avoid ‘careless and reckless’ behaviour during the ongoing heatwave as crews across the country deal with a high number of field fires.
The thunderstorms could lead to flooding of homes and businesses, difficult driving conditions and potential power cuts, the Met Office warned. Scotland and Northern Ireland have been experiencing recent temperatures nearer normal for the time of year.