Europe sweats as sun sizzles across continent
Joggers wheezed, electric trains stalled, and Britain sweated through its hottest July day on record as a broad swath of Western Europe sweltered in a heatwave.
Authorities in France and elsewhere, mindful that thousands died during a 2003 heatwave, reached out to the elderly, families and other vulnerable people yesterday to warn of health risks. Paris officials opened special air-conditioned rooms for the public.
A mass of hot air moving north from Africa has sent temperatures spiking in Spain, Portugal, Britain and France in recent days. Temperatures in Paris were expected to hit 39C, as France's national railway operator said the soaring heat had caused a disruption to some traffic in and out of Paris's Saint-Lazare train station. The Energy Ministry reported some overnight electricity outages and fires as a result of swooning temperatures.
French officials said their heat wave was just beginning.
Britain's Met Office said yesterday was the hottest July day since records began in the 1800s, based on the 36.7 C recorded at London's Heathrow Airport.
Many commuters outside the London subway weren't bothered by the sweltering heat.
Some responded with a classic British quip: "Mustn't complain."
"I'm loving it. I can't complain," said Maggie Cloud, a university student who planned to relax in the park.
"We pay so much money to go abroad on holidays, and now we have the weather here. It's cheaper," she added.