Mirror Online: LONDON, England, By Lucy Thorton – Brits are being warned to stay indoors as “ferocious” life-threatening “day and night” temperatures are due to blast the UK for the first time in history.
Death-Valley type temperatures of 42C (107.6F) during the day and 30C (86F) at night are threatening to double the UK summer average – prompting a Met Office first-ever red warning.
The UK faces it’s first-ever red weather warning – AFP via Getty Images
The public are being urged “to do as little as possible” and try not to use public transport.
Hospitals have cancelled appointments and many businesses have announced two day closures including restaurants, bars, zoos and wildlife centres – while millions will work from home.
The chief executive of the College of Paramedics has warned that the “ferocious heat” the UK is predicted to experience over the next few days could result in people dying.
She told Sky: “We could see people who are vulnerable, young people, elderly people, people living with dementia who really do suffer.
“This is serious heat that could actually ultimately end in people’s deaths because it is so ferocious. We are just not set up for that sort of heat in this country.
“This isn’t like a lovely hot day where we can put a bit of sunscreen on, go out and enjoy a swim and a meal outside.”
Recent figures revealed how one in ten people waited 10 hours for an ambulance and the average waiting times for a heart attack was more than 50 minutes.
“It’s difficult not to call it a crisis but it has been a stealth crisis,” she added.
Ministers are expected to hold a fourth Cobra meeting tomorrow after a national emergency was declared.
Outgoing PM Boris Johnson didn’t attend the last meeting on Saturday and went to Chequers instead.
Labour’s Angela Rayner blasted him for “partying while Britain boils” and described him as “grotesque”.
He snubbed the meeting as one large water company supplying Essex warned “urgent action” was needed while others said they were monitoring the situation.
But despite universal pleas for the public to stay safe from health chiefs, not to travel and stay indoors, the Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, decided to tell the public to “enjoy the sunshine” on Sky News.
His comments were blasted on social media with one saying: “Dominic Raab…brushing off the impending record breaking, earth burning temperatures and saying people should ‘enjoy the sunshine’. Heaven help us all!”
Another added: “I vote to put @DominicRaab in an office with no air con during the heatwave so he can enjoy the summertime” and another said: “He should try enjoying it in a white suit, respirator mask and goggles while resuscitating someone’s Nan.”
BBC Weather presenter and meteorologist Simon King has pointed out that temperatures could reach 42°C in the East Midlands on Tuesday – tweeting that this level of heat “just shouldn’t happen.”
Affinity Water today said “urgent action” was needed in areas of Essex and Hertfordshire to conserve supplies, revealing demand had surged from 209 million gallons a day to 242 million gallons, due to the hot weather.
It added it was “working around the clock to maintain supplies”. Some areas of Buckinghamshire, Surrey and North London are also affected.
Thames Water said they were monitoring the situation all the time but said if they did not see “around or above average rainfall” in the coming months it may result in water restrictions.
Two thousand people in east Kent were left with no water or low pressure over the weekend.
Southern Water said power issues on Friday evening caused a reservoir which serves the Broadstairs and St Peters areas to fail.
Wildfires have already started amid fears for the safety of firefighters with six hectare grass fires in Hayes and a fire at Warsash nature reserve in Hampshire destroying 15,000 square metres of heathland.
The rail network is about to go slow at a 20mph crawl, with some routes cancelled and gritters are out with sand to prevent the heat causing roads to “liquefy”.
The boss of Transport for London has urged Londoners to undertake only necessary travel on Monday and Tuesday.
Andy Lord told LBC: “We’re advising all our customers to only travel if their journey is essential, to make sure that they stay hydrated and carry water with them if they do have to travel.
“Check before they travel because journey times will be extended.
“We will have reduced services across the TFL network because of the safety restrictions we need to put in place due to the heat.”
Avanti West Coast has urged passengers to travel only if it is “absolutely necessary” from Sunday until Tuesday.
“When the rail temperature gets above 50C, we have to reduce the speed to reduce the risk of damaging the track.
In extreme cases, the rails can buckle, we need to avoid that and maintain the safety of the railway,” they said.
While London North Eastern Railway has urged people not to travel on Tuesday, warning that trains between London’s King’s Cross and the south of York and Leeds will not be running.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have repeated warnings about cooling off in open water after a 16-year-old died while swimming with friends in a canal in Salford Quays.
It is believed he was the fifth to die in the UK’s waterways, with searches ongoing for a male at Ardsley Reservoir in West Yorkshire.
Met Office meteorologist, Steve Keates, warned the public to “do as little as possible” in the extreme heat.
“Part of the reason the warnings are out is because it’s not just day time but night time temperatures that are a concern,” he told The Mirror.
“When you are going to bed on Monday night it could still be 30C or more at bed time or later evening and still high 20s into the early hours. It’s horrible basically.”
He said hardest hit areas could be large urban areas such as London where the heat gets trapped in the city, taking longer to disperse.
But he said a “fascinating” aspect is that higher up in the atmosphere it will get hotter meaning mountains and hilltops will be unusually “quite a bit warmer”.
“Even at night it could still be exceptionally hot for the time of day and at places where you wouldn’t necessarily expect it to be,” he said.
“Our advice is to do as little as possible in temperatures like this.”
Scientist and climate specialist, John Grant, senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam, warns that the heat could cause power cuts.
He said: “High temperatures on the road can damage the tarmac, liquify it.
“And the power stations require cooling and in extreme temperatures may reduce the water available or the water might not be cool enough to do the job.
“A few years ago some French nuclear power stations had to shut down because the rivers were too warm.”
The 40C heat set to grip Britain shows climate change “really is a risk to health”, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer warned.
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England’s DCMO Thomas Waite warned the “extreme heat” posed a threat to health and said: “The scientific and medical communities are nearly in unanimous agreement that climate change really is a risk to health and we need to take carbon reduction and adaptations seriously.
“The thing that means for events like this is that the risk of this extreme heat is going up so we all need to sort of think about the steps we can take during extreme weather for how we avoid getting ourselves into trouble in the first place.”
Top Feature Photo: PA