Second Cobra meeting called as UK heatwave triggers national emergency -

15 August, Monday

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Second Cobra meeting called as UK heatwave triggers national emergency

Londoners urged not travel on Monday and Tuesday with 80 per cent chance record temperature could be set and warning lives are at risk

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The UK government called its second Cobra heatwave meeting on Saturday after meteorologists said record high temperatures in England could put lives at risk.
The current UK record temperature of 38.7ºC was set in Cambridge in 2019, and with this heatwave set to peak on Tuesday, forecasters suggest there is a strong chance that the temperature will top 40ºC.
Temperatures will climb at the weekend, and the Met Office has issued a red warning for Monday and Tuesday in an area from London to the Vale of York.
An amber warning has been issued for the rest of England and Wales from Sunday until Tuesday.
Daytime temperatures on Saturday are predicted to be around 27ºC in London, 26ºC in Cardiff, 23ºC in Belfast and 21ºC in Edinburgh.
On Sunday, they could reach 30ºC in London, 27ºC in Cardiff, 24ºC in Belfast and 23ºC in Edinburgh.
Temperatures are forecast to increase by several more degrees on Tuesday — up to the mid-30s for much of England and Wales.
There is a 50 per cent chance of temperatures reaching 40ºC somewhere in the UK, likely to be along the A1 corridor which runs from London to Scotland through counties including Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and the North East, with the Met Office issuing its first red warning for extreme heat.
“If people have vulnerable relatives or neighbours, now is the time to make sure they're putting suitable measures in place to be able to cope with the heat because if the forecast is as we think it will be in the red warning area, then people's lives are at risk,” said Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge.
“This is a very serious situation.”
The UK Health Security Agency also has increased its heat health warning from level three to level four — a “national emergency”.
Level four is reached “when a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system … At this level, illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups,” it said.
UK health service chiefs said heat-related hospital admissions combined with a rise in hospital cases from Covid as the latest wave sweeps across the country, could prove a “nightmare for health workers”.
The Labour opposition meanwhile criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson after reports said he had failed to attend the Cobra meetings.
“Boris Johnson has gone missing in action again. He's back to his old tricks of skipping important Cobra meetings,” said Angela Rayner, Labour deputy leader.
“Where's the plan for the delivery of essential services and how people will be kept safe at work, on transport, in schools, hospitals and care homes?
“The public will have no confidence in this zombie Conservative government responding swiftly and decisively to this national emergency as this disgraced prime minister prepares to party while Britain boils.
“If he still can't take the responsibility of the job, he should leave right now.”
People in Britain have meanwhile been buying fans and looser clothing to help them keep cool during the heatwave.
Retailer Toolstation said sales of fans have risen by 641 per cent over the last week compared with the week before as tradespeople struggle to stay cool.
The company also said sales of builders' shorts have increased by 50 per cent and T-shirts by 35 per cent.


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