Heatwave alert in UK

2013-07-18 18:44
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London - Britain's weather service on Thursday raised heatwave alerts in more parts of the country, with high temperatures forecast to continue into the coming week.

The Met Office has said that Britain is experiencing its first prolonged heatwave since 2006, with temperatures reaching above 30°  for six consecutive days.

The country experienced its hottest day of the year on Wednesday, when the county of Surrey, outside London, recorded temperatures of 32.2°C.

A "level three" heatwave warning is in place across the south of England and the Midlands, meaning that the elderly and very young people, as well as those with chronic illnesses, should take special care.

One scientist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimated that the hot weather has already caused the premature deaths of up to 760 people between 6 and 14 July.

"Data has shown real risk of increased deaths when temperatures go above 26°," said the school's Ben Armstong, a professor in epidemiological statistics, after carrying out research for The Times newspaper.

Authorities have also warned people against swimming in lakes and rivers after four people drowned in separate incidents on Tuesday.

Two servicemen also died in Wales at the weekend. They were carrying out a military training exercise in 29° heat, though the exact cause of their deaths remains unclear.

Read more on:    weather

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