Author Topic: Heatwave latest: Up to 760 killed and total may double  (Read 830 times)

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Offline thaiga

Heatwave latest: Up to 760 killed and total may double
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:02:43 PM »
Heatwave latest: Up to 760 killed and total may double as temperatures above 30C are set to continue

People with breathing difficulties could find themselves struggling to get enough air into their bodies while those with heart problems are more likely to suffer a heart attack

The heatwave has been responsible for as many as 760 deaths, according to official calculations, as the UK enters the sixth day of plus-30C temperatures.

The temperature today is forecast to hit 31.0C, following yesterday’s year-high of 31.9C at Heathrow, marking the longest heatwave for seven years.

Research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine for The Times has estimated the death toll for the first nine days of the heatwave at between 540 and 760 people in England alone.

With temperatures set to remain high until at least the end of next week, the number of heat-related deaths is likely to double, experts said.

The Met Office issued a level-three heatwave alert yesterday, warning social and healthcare workers to focus on the very young, the very old and those with chronic diseases.

People with breathing difficulties could find themselves struggling to get enough air into their bodies to regulate their temperature while those with heart problems are more likely to suffer a heart attack.

Firefighters are attending more than 20 grass fires a day in London, and said the strength of the sun’s rays meant they were even being caused by magnification from broken glass in gardens and sheds.

London Fire Brigade issued advice reminding people to clear away bottles and glasses, never leave barbecues unattended and to dispose of cigarettes carefully and safely.

Meanwhile, millions of households have been urged to ration water as soaring water use in London and the Home Counties puts huge pressure on the system.

Four of Britain's biggest water companies – Severn Trent, Affinity, South East and Yorkshire – told customers to cut back and use water wisely.

Affinity, a water company that supplies three and a half million homes across north London and the Home Counties, issued an alert admitting “water supply problems”. It said demand had leapt by as much as 27 per cent since the heatwave began.

“With the recent hot weather, Affinity Water has experienced a large increase in demand for water,” it said. “This has resulted in some of our customers experiencing low or reduced pressure. We have increased the production and storage of water to meet the extra demand.”

Severn Trent said that its reservoirs were not refilling as much as “we would like” overnight and urged its customers across the Midlands to turn off sprinklers when they went to bed.

independent.co.uk
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Offline thaiga

Re: Heatwave latest ♦ Wildfire Warning
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 04:15:29 PM »
Wildfire Warning As Heatwave Continues

Swathes of the British countryside could be at risk from wildfires as the country continues to swelter in its longest heatwave for seven years.

Soon-to-be-harvested crops such as wheat and winter barley are thought to be among the most vulnerable.

Six days of 30C-plus temperatures and a lack of rainfall have led to an "elevated risk" of fires, a spokesman for the Met Office said.

The warning echoes that issued by firefighters in London, who have dealt with twice as many grass fires this summer than in 2012.

A blaze at Mitcham Common, which destroyed an area of grass and gorse equivalent in size to four football pitches, was one of around 40 wildfires extinguished by crews in just 24 hours.

Temperatures in Hampton, around 12 miles away, soared to 32.2C on Wednesday - the highest temperature recorded in the UK this year.

Dave Brown, head of operations, prevention and response at London Fire Brigade, urged smokers to be especially careful when disposing of their cigarettes.

"A small spark from a cigarette is often all it takes to start a grass fire in these dry conditions," he said.

"Drivers also need to take care not to throw cigarettes out of car windows as they can easily burn grass verges.

"If you see a grass fire, don't attempt to put it out yourself as grass fires can be fast moving and change direction without warning. Call the fire brigade and let us know where the fire is."

Temperatures are expected to remain in the mid to high-20Cs for many parts of England and Wales well into next week.

The prolonged hot spell prompted the Met Office to issue level three heatwave health warnings for southwest and southeast England, London and the West Midlands.

Health officials urged people to drink plenty of cold water and keep an eye on vulnerable people, including the elderly and the very young.

It comes after a four-week-old baby was among 10 children admitted to the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex, with sunburn.

Meanwhile, police officers and firefighters warned about the dangers of attempting to escape the heat by swimming in open water after a number of deaths in recent weeks.

Four people died in separate incidents on Tuesday in the sea, rivers and lakes in Norfolk, the Shropshire-north Wales border and Cornwall.

news.sky.com
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Offline thaiga

firefighters battle spreading grass fires in Leytonstone, East London

The London Fire Brigade tackles large grass fires at Epping Forest, in Leytonstone as Britain's heatwave continues to bake the country.


Heatwave firefighters battle spreading grass fires in Leytonstone, East London


Fire crews were battling two grass fires in Leytonstone, East London, this afternoon. Eight engines and 60 firefighters were sent to tackle one blaze, and six engines to another.

A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said it was not clear how the fires started, but warned the public to make sure they were putting out cigarettes and barbecues properly near grass areas.

The brigade said they are dealing with the worst grass fires since 2006, as temperatures peaked at 29 degrees.

There were 37 grass fires in a 24 hour period, ending yesterday afternoon, though bosses insist they can cope, a spokeswoman said.

There have been nearly 2000 grass fires this year, though that number is set to rise in the next few days, the spokeswoman added.

London Fire Brigade's Head of Operations, Prevention and Response, Dave Brown said: "Grass fires can cause a great deal of damage to open spaces and wildlife, and can be avoided by making sure that cigarettes and barbecues are extinguished properly, and that glass bottles are disposed of carefully."

It took firefighters an hour to bring a grass fire the size of three football pitches on Mitcham Common under control yesterday, the biggest so far this year.

telegraph.co.uk
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