UK on emergency weather alert as London to be 'hotter than Caribbean and Sahara'
The UK Health Security Agency has issued a level 4 heat-health alert – described as an “emergency”
Britain is braced for soaring temperatures this week, with record highs forecast on Monday and Tuesday.
London is set to be hotter than the Caribbean and the Western Sahara, with highs of 38C.
Not only has the UK Health Security Agency issued an "emergency" level 4 heat-health alert, but the Met Office has also issued the UK’s first red extreme heat warning, with both running from Monday to Wednesday.
The capital’s scorching temperatures mean it will be warmer than Nassau in the Bahamas (32C), Kingston in Jamaica (33C), Malaga in Spain (28C), Athens in Greece (35C), Albufeira in Portugal (28C) and Dakhla, in the Western Sahara (24C).
Highs of 37C will hit the Midlands, 36C in East Anglia and 33C in the North West and North East.
It comes as new records were broken in Wales and Northern Ireland on Sunday.
Hawarden, a village in northern Wales, reached 33C while Armagh in Northern Ireland was 27.7C.
Tuesday is predicted to be even hotter, with temperatures possibly reaching 40C – a new record for England.
Scientists warn that the 40C figure “could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence”.
Some schools in several counties, including Nottinghamshire and Hampshire, have confirmed they will close, while train companies urged people not to travel.
Network Rail will close the East Coast Main Line between 12pm and 8pm on Tuesday for all locations between London King’s Cross and York and Leeds, with passengers warned not to travel.
Sam MacDougall, operations director for Network Rail said: “Closing the line to traffic is always a last resort but it is the right thing to do to keep people safe on Tuesday given the unprecedented heatwave forecast.
“The forecast temperatures are well above those which our infrastructure is designed for, and safety must come first.”
Additional support for ambulance services, such as more call handlers and extra working hours, have also been put in place.
Hospitals are going to be “really, really pushed” over the next few days, the chairman of the NHS Confederation warned.
Brits are being urged to stay inside during the hottest points of the day, between 11am and 4pm.
People have also been advised to wear sun cream, a hat, stay in the shade and keep hydrated with water.