A punishing heat wave fueling ferocious wildfires in western Europe pushed temperatures in Britain over 40 degrees Celsius for the first time on Tuesday.

Iran PressEurope: Britain’s previous all-time temperature record of 38.7C, set in Cambridge in eastern England in 2019, had already been smashed earlier Tuesday.”

After the UK’s warmest night on record, the Meteorological Office said a new high of 40.3 C had been recorded at Coningsby in eastern England.

Experts blame climate change for the latest heatwave and note that the more frequent extreme weather will only worsen in years. The high temperatures have triggered an unprecedented red alert for extreme heat in much of England, where some rail lines were closed as a precaution and schools shuttered in some areas.

Firefighters have described blazes tearing through homes and buildings in London as 'absolute hell' - with residents evacuated after homes were destroyed, two people took to hospital for smoke inhalation, and 1,600 calls for assistance.

The 'extreme heat' also led to almost 15,000 homes in the North East being left without power at about 2 pm as electrical equipment overheated during the record temperatures. Roads were also closed as fires broke out alongside major motorways. Emergency call centres were hit with tens of thousands of pleas for help. 

Ambulance services said they are under 'extreme pressure' from sunstroke patients, with 999 and 111 handlers getting hundreds of calls an hour.  

homeless in Wennington, where the worst of the wildfires has been seen, were at first sent to a Premier Inn before that lost power, and they were directed to go to Hornchurch Sports Centre to sleep on air mattresses as their 'worst nightmare' came true. 

All trains were cancelled from London’s usually busy Kings Cross station, leaving many travellers stranded. “It’s a little frustrating,” said American tourist Deborah Byrne, trying to reach Scotland. But with road surfaces and runways melting and rails buckling, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps conceded much of Britain’s infrastructure “is just not built for this temperature.”

The UK is also being warned these temperatures could soon be the 'new normal' as Britain starts to see wildfires, extreme heat and pressure on the water supply, which has long plagued Europe.


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