London fire department busiest day since WWII

Aerial images show rubble and destruction in a residential area following a major fire the day before, on July 20, 2022 in Wennington, Greater London.

Leon Neal | beautiful pictures

Europe is suffering from an unprecedented heat wave, leaving London firefighters facing a massive influx of emergency calls.

“Yesterday was the busiest day for the London fire service since the Second World War,” Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, told Sky News on Wednesday.

Firefighters work next to buildings destroyed by fire on July 19, 2022 in Wennington, England. A series of grass fires broke out around the British capital amid a fierce heat wave.

Court Carl | beautiful pictures

On a typical day, the fire service would receive 350 calls, Khan said. On a busy day, the London Fire Service will receive 500 calls. On Tuesday, the London Fire Service received more than 2,600 calls, Khan said. Mr Khan said 41 properties were destroyed in London due to bushfires and 16 firefighters were injured fighting the fires.

“It’s important for us to realize that one of the consequences of climate change and the kinds of temperatures that lead to the fires you’re seeing,” said Khan. “The challenge in London is that we have a lot of grass, a lot of green space and a lot of impact on the property. And when you don’t have rain for a long time, when the grass is unbelievably dry, fires can happen. started very large. quickly and spread further because of the wind and that resulted in property destruction.”

The scene follows a fire in the village of Wennington, east London after temperatures hit 40C for the first time in Britain, as the sweltering heat caused fires and widespread traffic disruption. Date taken: Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

Aaron Chown | Picture Pa | beautiful pictures

“A lot of the problems we have here today are a direct result of climate change, the overwhelming number of deaths from the heatwave,” said Khan. “A lot of these problems could be solved by tackling climate change quickly, instead of knocking over the can.”

Outside the UK, firefighters in France, Spain and Greece are battling to prevent bushfires from being aggravated by heat and dry conditions.

A wildfire broke out in the late afternoon, on July 19, 2022 on Mount Penteli outside Athens.

Iason Raissis | Nurphoto | beautiful pictures

“High temperatures and ongoing drought are the two main drivers of wildfires, and southern Europe has recently had both.” Alexandra Naegelea researcher at Woodwell Climate Research Centertold CNBC.

“Combined with days of high winds, these conditions have led to the rapid spread of wildfires across the continent,” Naegele told CNBC.

Firefighters stand guard as wildfires burn through the hills outside Tabara, Zamora, during the second heatwave of the year, in Spain, July 18, 2022.

Newborn Isabel | Reuters

“In the future, this type of heatwave will be normal. We will see more intense extremes,” Petteri TaalasSecretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, part of the United Nations.

Firefighters gesture as they work to extinguish a wild fire at the Drafi site, north of Athens, on July 19, 2022.

Aris Oikonomou | AFP | beautiful pictures

“We’ve pumped so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that the negative trend will continue for decades. We haven’t been able to reduce our emissions globally.” Taalas said in a statement third publication. “I hope that this will be a wake-up call for governments and that it will have an impact on voting behaviors in democratic countries.”

Firefighters work during a fire that broke out in Monts d’Arree in Brasparts, in Brittany, France, July 19, 2022 in this handout photo obtained on July 20, 2022.

Julien Trevarin / sdis 29 | Reuters

The high temperatures were affected by a meteorological event called the “heat dome”, Alyssa Smithmyera meteorologist for a weather forecasting company, AccuWeather, told CNBC. A heat dome has caused record high temperatures in Western and Central Europe, she said.

“Heat dome is a term used when an area of ​​high pressure spreads over a region or country and persists for days or even weeks, trapping a very warm mass of air beneath it. high-pressure areas will push air to the surface, and this will warm the air through compression,” Smithmyer told CNBC.

Firefighters prepare to operate as bushfires approach in the Pallini area. A forest fire raged for a second day in Mount Penteli near Athens, Greece, causing extensive property damage.

Nicolas Koutsokostas | Nurphoto | beautiful pictures

Thermal dome conditions make rain unlikely.

“Due to the effects of high pressure, there is usually very little chance of rain or even clouds when the heat dome extends over an area. When high pressure persists over an area for a long period of time. , temperatures can rise to extreme values,” Smithmyer told CNBC. “A lack of rainfall or cloud cover will exacerbate temperatures in these conditions.”

Smoke rises as a forest fire burns on Mount Penteli, next to Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2022.

Alkis Konstannidis | Reuters

Smoke rises from a forest fire on the border with Slovenia as seen from Rupa, Italy, July 20, 2022.

Borut Zivulovic | Reuters

“The potential impacts of very high ozone pollution on human health can be significant both in terms of respiratory tract and cardiovascular disease,” Mark Parringtona senior scientist from Copernicus, said in a written statement published on Tuesday.

“Higher values ​​can lead to symptoms such as sore throats, coughs, headaches, and an increased risk of asthma attacks. The Climate and Clean Air Alliance estimates that ozone pollution causes about an extra one.” million deaths each year This is why it’s important to us Parrington says.

Firefighters try to extinguish a forest fire burning in Ntrafi, Athens, Greece, July 19, 2022.

Costas Baltas | Reuters

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