The British government was accused on Sunday of not taking seriously the heat wave that will hit the United Kingdom on Monday as forecasters believe there could be deaths. This Saturday, resigning Prime Minister Boris Johnson missed a crisis meeting in Downing Street, busy bidding farewell to friends at his Checkers country home in north-west London. And this Sunday, his deputy Dominic Raab seemed to be delighted that temperatures could exceed 40 degrees for the first time in England.
“Of course he has some common sense advice: hydrate, avoid the sun at the hottest times and put on sunscreen, that sort of thing,” he told Sky News.
But “we should enjoy the sun,” he added, assuring that the country was resilient enough to cope with the heat and that there was no reason for schools to close. These comments have raised eyebrows among health professionals and meteorologists.
A “risk to life”
“This is not a nice sunny day where you can put on some sunscreen, go out and go swimming or eating outside,” warned Tracy Nicholls, manager at the College of Paramedics.
“This is severe heat that could, in fact, lead to fatalities because it is too fierce,” she added. “We’re not equipped for that kind of heat in this country.”
Transport Minister Kit Malthouse warned of “significant disruption” to transport, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan advised taking public transport only when “absolutely necessary”. Britain’s Met Office meteorologist issued a ‘red’ extreme heat warning for the first time on Monday and Tuesday, stressing there was a ‘risk to life’.
Temperatures could exceed 40 degrees in London, a first in the country. The absolute record recorded in the United Kingdom dates back to July 25, 2019, when the mercury peaked at 38.7 degrees in Cambridge, in the east of England. Ambulance services are in a state of crisis and schools have already announced that they will remain closed.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.