Great Britain and much of Europe are experiencing record high temperatures this week as a heat wave has gripped the continent.
“The mercury hit 40.2 degrees Celsius, or about 104 degrees Fahrenheit, at 12:50 p.m. local time at London’s Heathrow Airport,” reported the Weather Channel on Monday. “In addition to London, multiple other locations also topped the U.K.’s previous national record set in July 2019.”
In a country where few households have air conditioning or are otherwise prepared for this kind of heat, temperatures like these can be devastating.
The heat has affected travel throughout the UK and Europe. First responders have closed multiple train stations due to the heat, while Luton Airport, north of London, had to suspend flights when one section of runway suffered heat damage.
The heat has also caused death and injuries throughout Western Europe, and parts of Europe and Great Britain have experienced fires.
Motorbike, car and fence panels badly damaged by fire outside home on Church Road in Croydon. A woman left the building before the Brigade arrived and was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation 📷 @DRNimages1 https://t.co/96J0lB4QoN pic.twitter.com/VbPTgwOJ9P
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) July 19, 2022
“More than 31,000 people have been evacuated over the past week due to wildfires in the Gironde region of France,” the Weather Channel reported.
“Spain and Portugal have reported at least 748 heat-related deaths so far this month,” the report continued.
A 14-year-old boy who jumped into the River Thames appears to have drowned, according to GB News.
“His death is a tragedy and I cannot begin to imagine what his family will be going through. All our thoughts are with them,” said Metropolitan Police Superintendent Richard Smith.
“I know that on days like today when temperatures are at a record high, it might look appealing to jump in and cool off in rivers, reservoirs, lakes or other open water,” he cautioned young people. “Please don’t. The dangers are real and this evening in Richmond we have seen the terrible consequences of what happens when it goes wrong.”
GB News also reported that “One regional service said the number of open fires could have tripled this week, while the Met Office warned that most of England was at exceptional risk.” One blaze in the eastern part of London required over 100 firefighters to get under control. Fortunately, there have been no reports of injuries so far resulting from the London fires.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) assistant commissioner for operational resilience and control Patrick Goulbourne urged residents not to cook out or set bonfires. Many of the fires throughout the city have been a result of dry grass catching fire. LFB has also called for a temporary ban on disposable grills, which are popular with urban Britons who like to cook out in parks.
A major incident has been declared in London after a “huge surge” in fires across the capital on the UK’s hottest-ever day
Stay updated on everything weather here 👉 https://t.co/tZQg6n04ME
📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/t52m5J6IH6
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 19, 2022
Additionally, there have been at least two reports of police officers having to break windows to free dogs trapped in hot cars.
Some people are blaming the extreme heat on climate change. The Weather Channel included a paragraph speculating on how many more heat waves Europe could see due to “global greenhouse gas emissions” — because the network blames everything on climate change.
Prince Charles spoke out on the need for environmental action as well, telling an audience that “As I have tried to indicate for quite some time, the climate crisis really is a genuine emergency and tackling it is utterly essential.”
Pray for the people of the UK and Europe as they deal with this oppressive heatwave.