This is not normal here. This kind of heat. This heat wave.
The country’s meteorological service has at least released information about it 34 rentals In England, the previous high temperature exceeded 40 degrees, with large areas of south-east and central England. This hell is 104 Fahrenheit.
Britain is not designed for this. The country’s homes and shops, train stations and carriages, schools and offices – very, very few have air conditioning.
On this signal day, there was a kind of commotion and panic in the capital. It was windy, but a dry sirocco wind that was common in Southampton, not in Sicily, but in the Mediterranean, rustling summer leaves and sending people stumbling from one shade to another as emergency crews busied themselves stripping heat-sufferers. off the sidewalks.
Stepping inside some of the hottest houses in England on the hottest day was like stepping into a steam room.
When The Washington Post reporters entered some apartments in the public housing complex Chalcots Estate, located in northeast London, they were greeted with thick heat.
“Can you feel it? It’s very hot,” said Mandy Ryan, who works as a representative of the residents’ association.
He walked into the living room and pointed to a ceiling fan whose blades were spinning slowly, accusing the appliance of being useless.
“It doesn’t do anything,” he said.
Like many residents of the high-rise tower block north of Regent’s Park, it has spectacular views of the London skyline.
She also has a wonderful collection of cuckoo clocks and ceramic dog ornaments. But the most noticeable thing in her house on Tuesday was the soupy weather.
Bonnie, his Labradoodle, panted heavily at his feet.
“We’re not having leg of lamb for dinner tonight,” he joked, nodding to his unused oven.
John Szymanska, originally from Poland, plastered and painted a flat in Hampstead, North London.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said, sweating. “But what can you do?” – he asked. “It’s getting hotter everywhere.”
Unlike some immigrants who said they saw the British as weak in this heat, Szymanska expressed her sympathy. “I feel for them. They are not used to it.”
Chalcots Estate butcher and hip-hop artist Paul Rafis, 38, was struggling.
The sofa bed was covered with fur. He explained that Wise the dog shed a lot. Not that Rafis sleeps much.
“When it’s hot, you suffer in these blocks,” he said.
In his 15th-floor flat, Rafis was worried the fridge might catch fire – so he turned it off for four hours and dumped the food in the fridge.
Some experts have said that the 2017 fire near Grenfell Tower, which killed 72 people, was caused by overheating of wires in a fridge-freezer.
“Nothing in the house is used to this weather,” said Rafis, touching the refrigerator, which felt warm again after plugging in.
London’s underground, the Tube, can be very hot – and no line has a worse reputation than the Bakerloo.
Labor MP Karen Buck said: “Anyone who enjoys paddling rivers of molten lava should make themselves at home on the Bakerloo line.” he tweeted.
We entered Charing Cross station with some trepidation. There were industrial-sized fans forcing air into the narrow passageways, but the cave-like, deep underground platforms contained pockets of cool air.
Inside the wagons, he was quite ripe.
For Angel Rodriquez, a Hispanic kitchen worker on his afternoon prep shift, the ride wasn’t as bad as he imagined.
He was not philosophical, though. “We are all here,” he said, adding that climate change will only intensify and make things worse. He nodded as he remembered the news from home large forest fires They consumed parts of Spain.
The streets were not empty in London, but they were definitely quiet as the windows of the city were covered with curtains to keep out the sun. The royal parks and their long lawns were mostly empty, except for a few hardy souls spread out in the shade of the trees.
The Lido, a public swimming pool on Parliament Hill, had a long queue waiting to get in. In the water, the children splashed with joy as the lifeguards whistled.
The playgrounds at Chalcots Estate were childless. Authorities even urged healthy young people and their parents to stay at home.
Some residents told The Post they had installed air conditioning – only 3 per cent of British homes have it – or bought simple fans. Most of them just drank cold liquids and avoided the sun.
A few, though a minority, said they welcomed the heat.
“I’m sweating, but I love it,” said Chantal Peters, 43, a mother of six.
He said things were worse two years ago when temperatures soared during the pandemic lockdown. “The weather was 34C, we were closed. Now that it was hot. It was disgusting.”
Sean Walsh, who works in sales, was visiting his 71-year-old mother, who lived in the apartment upstairs. Her daughter took a leave of absence from school because of the heat.
He called the weather conditions “brutal”.
“It’s uncomfortable and hot here, and this country is not designed for this heat,” he said. “The environment is changing and people forget that. All this concrete, in any big city, is a heat sink. Freddy would be blind not to read the research and see that this is going to happen and we have to adapt. “
Especially in tall buildings that radiate heat. “It’s multiplying,” Walsh said.
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