Jul 20, 2022
A heat wave and huge wildfires continue to assault much of Europe.
Nearly 1,200 have died from extreme heat in Spain and Portugal. About 2,000 firefighters are fighting fires that have burnt 75 square miles in France. More than 34,000 people have had to flee their homes.
In Britain, rising temperatures broke records Tuesday. They reached a record breaking high at 104.5 degrees in Coningsby in eastern England. The London Fire Brigade declared a “major incident” as multiple fires broke out around the city. One official warned the ground is “tinder box dry.” He asked the public to call off outdoor barbecues.
News reports elsewhere detailed accounts of the devastation throughout the region. In one viral video, scared passengers in Spain watched as fires burned on both sides of their stopped train. No one was hurt. In another, a man tried to dig a trench to stop a fire from spreading. The video shows him fleeing the blaze after his tractor caught on fire.
Officials have taken measures to lessen the damage and threat to public safety. In London, crews wrapped the Hammersmith Bridge in foil. The bridge is already under repair. The foil was to stop cracks in the structure from getting bigger. In Paris, officials put mist fountains throughout the city.
The Europeans aren’t alone in suffering from the heat. In the US, 100 million Americans face heat advisories or excessive heat warnings this week.