Heat wave sweeps Europe and America, endangering lives

   On July 15, the UK Met Office issued the first-ever extreme high temperature red warning, and France, Japan, the United States and many other places continued to set new high temperature records. The high temperature even caused glaciers to collapse and wildfires to spread, endangering lives, and this summer is becoming the “deadliest season”.
   In Italy, due to unusually warm weather, the Marmolada glacier, the largest glacier in the north, collapsed, causing many deaths, injuries and tragic disappearances. The glacier reached temperature levels “usually seen in mid-August” in early July. In the United States, Texas has experienced four heat waves since the beginning of summer. Dallas has had temperatures above 38C every day since July 3. The high temperature day after day has put enormous pressure on the power grid, and many regions had to take turns to lose power. In some parts of Spain and France, the temperature reached the level of July and August of previous years in mid-June, and the highest temperature in France reached 42 °C.
   In Japan, 15,657 people were sent to the hospital due to heat stroke in June, the first time that the number exceeded 10,000 since statistics began in 2010. Portugal has seen a high temperature of 47 degrees Celsius, and at least 238 people have died due to heat waves in the past week alone. Some hospitals are already overwhelmed by the heatwave. The sweltering heat also exacerbated the drought. The water level of Italy’s longest river has fallen to its lowest level in 70 years, which has had a severe impact on agricultural irrigation, with several towns experiencing nighttime water cuts. An ancient village at the bottom of the North Yorkshire Reservoir has dropped due to high temperature. More than 200 people in Spain also died from the heat.
   The heat has also fueled the spread of wildfires, which have burned through about 800 hectares of woods south of Bordeaux in recent days in southern France. About 6,000 campers were evacuated overnight after another fire burned about 180 hectares of pine trees near the Pila Dunes, Europe’s highest dune. More than 70,300 hectares of forest in Spain have been wiped out since the beginning of 2022, which is almost double the average of the past decade.
   In order to eliminate the impact of high temperature as much as possible, countries have come up with countermeasures. In the UK, government officials have convened a “cobra meeting” to deal with extreme heat, discussing the possible dangers of soaring temperatures and emergency response plans, and calling on the public to pay attention to groups most vulnerable to heat – the elderly, people with cardiovascular disease and children . All ambulances in England and Wales are on maximum alert level as soaring temperatures pose a health risk to the public. In France, the Gironde province announced the cancellation of all public events in outdoor or non-air-conditioned places until the end of the heat, and enhanced care for the elderly and disabled. In the U.S., the National Weather Service has issued a heat warning to 125 million Americans and issued a special statement reminding residents to be alert for signs of heat stroke and to rest indoors when possible after get off work.

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