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The sweltering conditions yesterday sparked mass working from home, transport hell, melted runways, wildfires, water shortage fears and pressure on the NHS. The warmest county in the UK was Suffolk where Cavendish and Santon Downham baked in temperatures hovering around 100F.
The scorching sun had people flocking to beaches, parks and lidos to soak up the “Spanish Surge” that made it hotter than the Bahamas, Jamaica, Malaga, Athens and theWestern Sahara.
Hawarden in Flintshire reached 98.8F, the highest ever in Wales. But today is the day that weather, health and transport experts have been fearing for weeks.
The UK’s record of 101.6F in Cambridge three years ago is set to be smashed. And doctors fear that thousands of people could be affected.
The UK Health Security Agency has issued its first Level 4 heathealth warning and the Met Office put out its first red heat warning.
Tracy Nicholls, chief executive of the College of Paramedics, warned: “This is serious heat that could end in people’s deaths because it is so ferocious.”
The transport infrastructure was tested to the maximum with airports, such as Luton, shutting melting runways while railways, trams and the London Underground seemed deserted as workers stayed home.
Network Rail said the number of passengers using major stations across Britain was 20 per cent down on a week ago, though train speed restrictions, to reduce the chances of tracks buckling, caused delays and cancellations.
The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace was scaled down to protect the soldiers and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said MPs will not be need to wear jackets this week.
The NHS Confederation said the estate is full of buildings that cannot adapt as some GP surgeries without air conditioning shut.
Some schools failed to open and wildfires continued to burn after weeks of tinder dry weather.
Thames Water said the stifling heat has led to demand being “at near record level”.
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