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Pictures |  Devastating fires and severe heat wave in Europe

Pictures | Devastating fires and severe heat wave in Europe

On Tuesday, the temperature exceeded the threshold of 40 degrees Celsius in the United Kingdom, the first in this country to be hit like the rest of Western Europe by a heat wave that caused devastating forest fires, especially in France.

This is the second extreme heat phenomenon in Europe in barely a month. This multiplier is a direct consequence of the climate crisis according to scientists, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.

The Met Office’s meteorological agency announced that mercury exceeded a level never reached in the UK at 40.2 degrees Celsius at 11:50 GMT at Heathrow Airport in west London.

The previous historical record for temperature dates back from July 2019 to 38.7 degrees.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stressed to the BBC that “no”, the country’s public transport dating back to the Victorian era had not been able to handle such heat.

“All the trains were canceled because of the heat. I don’t understand. They have trains in Australia. Any work. What’s the problem here?”

One hundred firefighters were also working to combat a blaze that devastated a village in east London.

The government has been accused of treating this phenomenon lightly. Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson missed an emergency meeting on the crisis on Sunday, preferring to attend a farewell party, and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Britons to “enjoy the sun”.

Environmental activists from the Extinction Rebellion group smashed the windows of News UK, which publishes The Sun in particular, on Tuesday morning to protest the handling of the heat wave in some media.

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“The Sun has chosen to show images of women in bikinis, beaches and happy children with ice cream,” the group said. Another tabloid newspaper, the Daily Express, headlined Monday, “It’s not the end of the world, keep calm and carry on.”

Elsewhere in Europe, Belgium fears, by records, that the thermometer could rise as high as 40 degrees Celsius. Exceptionally, the main museums run by the federal state are accessible free of charge for those over 65 who can find something new there.

France Press agency

Two nuclear reactors located near Antwerp had to reduce their production capacity by more than 50% in order to reduce the temperature of the water discharged into the river.

In France, temperatures are expected to dip on the Atlantic coast on Tuesday after a complex night in the Gironde, in the southwest of the country, on top of giant fires that have already destroyed more than 19,000 hectares of forest.

In the face of these massive fires, a total of 37,000 people had to be evacuated in six days.

France Press agency

On Monday, absolute heat records were broken in 64 municipalities, mainly along the Atlantic coast.

France Press agency

“Unfortunately it was something to be expected,” Matthew Sorrell, a climate expert at Météo-France, told AFP. But more than the number of broken records, “what matters is how wide” the gaps between old records and some new records.

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In Spain, where the intense heat wave has been going on for nearly ten days, forest fires continued to erupt on Tuesday, especially in the province of Zamora (northwest). According to the regional authorities, nearly 6,000 people were evacuated due to the fires that destroyed several thousand hectares of meadows and forests.

France Press agency

The National Weather Service has announced a slight respite in the temperature side, while the mercury has cheerfully exceeded 40 degrees Celsius in recent days.

France Press agency

“Climate change is killing people (…), but also our ecosystem, our biodiversity,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez responded on Monday.

In Portugal, more than 1,400 firefighters continued to fight fires on Tuesday morning.

The most alarming wildfires are in the far north of the country. One mobilized nearly 700 firefighters on Tuesday.

France Press agency

A couple in their 70s were killed in the area on Monday while trying to escape from the flames.

France Press agency

Another rise in temperatures is expected from Wednesday in the country.

All of Germany is also facing this heat wave, but in Lower Saxony (northwest), temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, thus approaching the record of 41.2 degrees Celsius set in 2019, which could be beaten on Tuesday Or Wednesday, according to meteorologists.