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Heatwave hits Britain

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Public health officials said they were particularly concerned about Muslims fasting for Ramadan.

Temperature soars to Middle Eastern levels as an unusual heatwave tighten its grip on the Island nation.   Britons are advised to stay indoors after forecasters warned that much of the country would be hotter than Barbados during a two-day heatwave, The Telegraph reported.

London sunsetHospitals and care homes have been put on alert for an increase in admissions with health and social services staff on standby to contact the ill and vulnerable.

Public health officials said they were particularly concerned about Muslims fasting for Ramadan.

The Met Office issued a Level Two alert, triggered when temperatures are predicted to reach between 84F (28C) and 89F (32C) over two days and not dip below 59F (15C) and 64F (18C) at night.

People in the South East, East and Midlands have been told to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm. They are also advised to turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment, to avoid generating excess heat, and wear a hat or light scarf if venturing outdoors. Public Health England said people should keep curtains closed, move to a cooler room to sleep, and should eat salad, drink plenty of water and avoid extreme physical exertion.

Schools have been advised to monitor overweight children and encourage youngsters to play in the shade. They have also been asked to avoid leaving computers and printers on standby mode.

Dr Paul Cosford, of Public Health England, said: “While many people enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable, such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“Many members of the Muslim community may be fasting during the current period of Ramadan. During hot weather it’s important to balance food and fluid intake between fasts and especially to drink enough water.”

The heatwave period is expected to begin on Thursday and temperatures are forecast to climb to about 89F (32C) by Friday.

Areas of Britain will enjoy warmer weather than popular holiday destinations such as Barcelona, Ibiza and Nice. However, storms will bring fresher weather by Sunday before the heat is expected to return next week. The thunder storms will be caused by warm air moving up from Spain bringing sticky and humid conditions.

Steve Ramsdale, the deputy chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “We’ve got hot and humid air moving up from the Continent which will see temperatures rise through to the weekend, with some high day and night-time temperatures expected by Friday.

“The humidity will make it feel close, muggy and uncomfortable for many. People should take steps to keep cool.”

Ten days of heat in August 2003, when temperatures reached a record 101F (38.5C), led to an extra 2,139 deaths and prompted the NHS to draw up a “heatwave” plan with local authorities and the emergency services.

 

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