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15th Jul 2022

Red extreme heat warning issued for Monday and Tuesday as temperatures could hit 40C

WEST BAY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08: A woman reads a book whilst enjoying the hot weather at the beach on September 08, 2021 in West Bay, United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is experiencing a late summer heatwave, with temperatures in some parts of the country expected to reach 30C. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

A large part of England is now on a red warning for extreme heat

A national emergency has been declared as Brits brace for dangerously high temperatures next week, with one expert warning thousands could die.

A red warning for extreme heat is now in place across a huge chunk of England on Monday and Tuesday, when temperatures are forecast to hit 40C.

The Met Office has issued a “danger to life” warning, adding that “population-wide” adverse health effects are “not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat”.

The anticipated weather is of such great concern that the UK’s first-ever heatwave emergency response was held amongst senior government members at a COBRA (Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms) meeting on Monday, in which they devised a plan to manage the impacts of such extreme heat.

Climate change senior lecturer John Grant was one of many urging Downing Street to act fast.

He told The Mirror: “I think hundreds are going to die in the UK if not ­thousands, that’s my fear if we hit temperatures of 40C.

“It’s terrifying what will happen if we don’t have a management plan and get cooling centres ready.”

A second meeting COBRA was held on Thursday, after which the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said “significant work” had already been done to prepare, and that contingency measures have been enacted.

But NHS staff fear being overwhelmed by heat-related casualties, of which there are 2000 on average in England every year.

Cardiff A&E consultant Dr Farbod Babolhavaeji, 38, said the heatwave is the “last thing the NHS needs” amid the extreme pressure they already face post-pandemic.

“There are long waits for ­ambulances outside A&Es and despite everything we are doing the increasing demand means we are struggling to find space for the patients,” he said.

The doctor urged Brits to remember to stay indoors during the hot part of the day, stay in the shade, and drink plenty of water.

“It’s not just the sun stroke and heat exhaustion and collapses, there’s a significant risk of ­developing a stroke in the heat,” he added.

The government is urging Brits to only dial 999 in emergencies, and to use 111 for non-emergency health advice.

Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse urged the public to pay particular attention to “the elderly, those with cardiovascular problems and the very young”.

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