The scene at a smouldering village on the outskirts of London, which saw some of yesterday’s most devastating fires, has been described by a resident as being “like the Blitz”.
Around 19 houses were destroyed after fires first seen in back gardens rapidly tore through rows of houses in Wennington.
Resident Tim Stock, who lost his family home of 60 years in the blaze, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It was like a warzone. Down the actual main road, all the windows had exploded out, all the rooves had caved, it was like a scene from the Blitz really.”
It comes as some 41 properties including homes and warehouses have been destroyed in the capital as Tuesday’s heatwave saw the busiest day for London’s Fire Brigade (LFB) since the Second World War, according to Sadiq Khan.
Operating in 40C heat on Tuesday, firefighters took an estimated 2,600 emergency calls and responded to over 1,000 fire calls, the London mayor told Sky News.
Of the 16 firefighters who suffered “heat-related injuries”, two were hospitalised, LFB assistant commissioner Jonathan Smith said. Both have since been released.
More women ‘could die’ in UK heatwave than men, expert warns
More women could die in the UK heatwave than men due to being “more vulnerable” to hot temperatures, an expert has said.
The UK recorded its hottest temperature in history before midday on Tuesday - with temperatures climbing to over 40C (104F).
Mike Tipson, Professor of Human and Applied Physiology at the Extreme Environments Laboratories, told The Independent women appear to be more at risk in heatwaves for both physiological and sociological reasons.
His comments echo research into heatwaves carried out in the Netherlands which found mortality rates were 15 per cent higher for elderly women than men - with researchers analysing statistics from the 2003 heatwave in France.
Read the full report from Maya Oppenheim here:
‘They will be under more physiological strain. This puts strain on their heart and circulation,’ says expert
Recap: Scotland records its hottest day ever
Scotland has recorded its hottest day ever as temperatures climbed to 34.8C.
The temperature was recorded at Charterhall, in the Scottish Borders, according to provisional Met Office figures, and beat an almost 19-year-old record by 1.9C.
Since August 2003, Greycrook - also in the Scottish Borders - held the temperature record north of the border when it experienced a high of 32.9C.
Mark Wilson, of the Met Office, said Tuesday was “officially the highest temperature recorded in Scotland since records began”.
The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning - for extreme heat in eastern, southern and central parts of Scotland - which is in force until midnight on Tuesday.
And, at the same time, the forecaster has issued a yellow warning for thunderstorms for areas across north-east England and the Borders which is in place until 8pm.
Elsewhere in Scotland Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway recorded a temperature of 32.3C, while in Threave, Dumfries and Galloway, the thermometer climbed to 31.2C, the Met Office said earlier on Tuesday.
Heatwaves are being made more intense, frequent and longer by climate change, and scientists said it would be “virtually impossible” for the UK to have experienced temperatures reaching 40C without human-driven global warming.
Government accused of ‘pure greenwash’ as it launches Jet Zero aviation strategy on hottest day ever recorded
Government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector and meet the 2050 net zero deadline mean people “can fly guilt-free”, ministers have said, claiming future emissions will not rise above pre-pandemic levels.
The “Jet Zero” strategy, launched on Tuesday at Farnborough Air Show, on the hottest day in British history, has been strongly criticised by campaigners who have said measures to reduce the environmental impact of flying do not go far enough.
The plans, announced by the transport secretary Grant Shapps at the airshow, set out how the government says it will aim to reach the “hugely challenging” 2050 net zero target. It includes targets for domestic aviation to reach net zero by 2040, for so-called “sustainable aviation fuel” to account for 10 per cent of jet fuel by 2030, and for the creation of five plants making these fuels – which come from materials such as household waste, sewage, or used cooking oil.
Read the full story from Harry Cockburn here:
Passengers ‘can fly guilt-free’, government claims as campaigners warn strategy gives airlines ‘free pass’ to keep polluting
Woman pictured in tears after fire tears through village
The small village of Wennington on the outskirts of east London was torn apart by fire today.
Pictures from the scene show a woman in tears being comforted as a row of houses was destroyed in the fire.
More than 100 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze in Wennington which spread across several acres of grassland and hit buildings.
All 34 places which beat UK temperature record today
On Tuesday, Britain’s temperature record of 38.7C was smashed at Coningsby in Lincolnshire and 33 other locations across England.
Met Office has released a full list of places, temperatures and the times they exceeded the record:
15.12: Coningsby, Lincolnshire, 40.3 — 12.20: Heathrow, west London, 40.2 — 13.55: St James’s Park, central London, 40.2 — 15.26: Gringley-on-the-Hill, Nottinghamshire, 40.1 — 12.28: Kew Gardens, south west London, 40.1 — 12.39: Northolt, west London, 40 — 13.29: Niab in Cambridge, 39.9 —11.06: Charlwood, Surrey, 39.9 — 14.05: Cranwell, Lincolnshire, 39.9 — 15.30: Scampton, Lincolnshire, 39.9 — 14.37: Wittering, Cambridgeshire, 39.9 — 15.02: Bramham, West Yorkshire, 39.8 — 14.55: Monks Wood, Cambridgeshire, 39.8 — 14.07: Watnall, Nottinghamshire, 39.8 — 13.19: Bushey Park, Teddington, southwest London, 39.6 — 15.08: Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, 39.6 — 13.49: Woburn, Bedfordshire, 39.6 — 14.35: Bedford, Bedfordshire, 39.5 — 15.50: Normanby Hall, North Lincolnshire, 39.4 — 13.59: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 39.4 — 14.28: Sutton Bonington, Nottinghamshire, 39.4 — 11.17: Wisely, Surrey, 39.3 — 11.39: Chertsey, Surrey, 39.2 — 13.39: Marham, Norfolk, 39.2 — 14.12: Holbeach, Lincolnshire, 39.1 — 14.01: Ryhill, West Yorkshire, 39.1 — 13.15: Writtle, Essex, 39.1 — 12.47: Santon Downham, Suffolk, 39 — 13.08: Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, 39 — 13.55: Coton in the Elms, Derbyshire, 38.9 — 12.20: Iver, Buckinhamshire, 38.9 — 13.04: Coleshill, Warwickshire, 38.8 — 13.24: High Beach, Essex, 38.8 — 14.57: Leeming, North Yorkshire, 38.8
Residents evacuated due to fire worry their homes are gone
Residents in Wennington have described the blaze which has destroyed homes as their “worst nightmare”.
Locals were evacuated from their homes in the east London village on Tuesday afternoon as black smoke billowed into the air while flames destroyed buildings and ravaged nearby fields.
A rescue centre for residents was set up at the Premier Inn on New Road.
Riminta Maceikaite, 38 and her son Nikas Janulevicius, 13, said their neighbours’ homes were burned down but as far as they can see from TV aerial shots, their house is still standing.
Ms Maceikaite said they were “very anxious” about their home, adding: “When you look on a camera when it shows you from the sky it just freaks you out.”
Nikas said: “Our house is on the news and it’s the only house that hasn’t been burned so far.
Resident Janet Hickey, 70, who has terminal pancreatic cancer, said she was forced to leave all her cancer drugs behind as they were evacuated.
“I’m terminally ill so it’s not great to lose all that. I’m also an artist and all my paintings are there,” she said.
Her husband Patrick Hickey, 71, added: “We had to leave everything. We’re hoping against hope that our house is still there.”
Heat health alert lowered as record day comes to close
England will no longer be under the highest level of heat alert as Wednesday is set to be cooler than the record heights of Tuesday.
The level 4 heat-health alert has been lifted from all nine regions of England as of Wednesday 20 July, the UKHSA said.
The East Midlands, East of England and Yorkshire and Humber regions will remain under a level 3 alert until 9am on Thursday 21 July.
The UKHSA said this means it is important to carry on following public health advice in these regions.
Temperatures for the rest of the week are unlikely to reach beyond 30C as the country cools down from a period of extreme heat but Britain is likely to see similar high points again due to climate change.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at the UKHSA, said: “The very high temperatures have peaked for this week but they have been a wake-up call about the very real effects of climate change and the serious impacts it will have on our health.”
Nine of Britain’s hottest days occured in past 20 years
Nine of the UK’s 12 hottest days on record since 1884 have occurred within the last two decades.
Tuesday’s provisional record high at Coningsby in Lincolnshire of 40.3C means that four of the top five hottest days have taken place between 2019 and 2022.
Only one of top 12 hottest days took place before 1990.
Met Office figures show that spikes in the UK’s daily maximum temperature are becoming both more frequent and more recent.
A similar trend is evident in figures showing the UK’s annual average maximum temperature.
Seven of top 10 annual average maximum temperatures since 1884 have occurred since the start of this century, with 2020 ranking in fourth place and 2018 seventh.
The year 2014 currently holds the record for the highest average maximum temperature, while 1976, often recalled for its long summer heatwave, ranks 42nd.
Fire services declare major incidents as record heat fuels blazes across UK
Emergency services in London, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire declared major incidents due to a surge in fires on the hottest day ever recorded in Britain.
Firefighters tackled at least 22 wildfires and hundreds of smaller fires across England and Wales as temperatures above 40C were recorded for the first time in the UK.
Here is a full recap of the fires that swept the country:
Britain’s hottest day stretches fire services to the limit
Drone photos show huge fire at Welsh beach as UK temperatures soar
Drone footage shows flames and smoke billowing from a hill above Newgale beach in Pembrokeshire, where blazes broke out on both Sunday and Monday (Andy Gregory writes).
Rou Chater, a 46-year-old surfer who captured the footage, was out on the water when he spotted the fire, which he described as “totally out of control” and “the biggest one the area has seen for some time”.
By the end of the day all of the ground towards a nearby campsite and surrounding a holiday home had burned, he said.
Firefighters attend 24 wildfires in just two days in England and Wales
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