Heatwave: Ferocious European heat heads north

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Western Europe faces more sweltering temperatures on Tuesday as a ferocious heatwave heads north.

In France and the UK extreme heat warnings were issued while northern Spain recorded temperatures of 43C (109F) on Monday.

Wildfires in France, Portugal, Spain and Greece have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

The UK is expected to see its hottest day ever and experts say parts of France face a “heat apocalypse”.

Several parts of France saw their hottest-ever days with the western city of Nantes recording 42C, the national weather office said.

Wildfires in recent days have forced more than 30,000 people to flee, with emergency shelters set up for evacuees.

Gironde, a popular tourist region in the south-west, has been hit particularly badly, with firefighters battling to control blazes which have destroyed nearly 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) of land since last Tuesday.

“The idea that comes into my head is, it’s a monster,” Jean-Luc Gleyze, the president of the Gironde region said of the fires.

“It’s a monster like an octopus, and it’s growing and growing and growing in the front, in the back, on both sides. Because of the temperature, because of the wind, because of the lack of water in the air… it’s a monster and it’s very difficult to fight against it.”

Temperatures that hovered around 40C on Monday are predicted to drop on Tuesday – but that may not bring immediate relief, as long as dry conditions and changeable winds persist, the BBC’s Lucy Williamson in the Gironde region reports.

The UK had one of its hottest days on record on Monday, with a high of 38.1C recorded in Suffolk, in eastern England. Forecasters say Tuesday could see temperatures top 40C, with extreme heat warnings covering central, northern, and south-east England.

There were severe travel disruptions with trains canceled and flights at London’s Luton Airport suspended when part of the runway buckled under the searing heat.

 

 

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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