Extreme heat warning: check on your elderly neighbours and loved ones, Portsmouth residents told as Met Office issues new warning

AN ‘EXTREME heat’ warning – the first ever issued by The Met Office - is in place over Portsmouth, and residents are encouraged to check their vulnerable and elderly neighbours at risk from the sweltering weather.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 8:39 pm

Residents are warned that they face heat exhaustion and power failures due to the extreme heat, which has seen the city swelter with highs of 29C – hotter than Mumbai and Mexico City.

The weather warning covers much of the south of England and Wales, ranging across Cornwall, Birmingham, most of Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight.

The extreme heat is set to last until the end of Thursday, when temperatures are expected to dip to highs of 23C in Portsmouth

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Two walkers look to the sea during the weekend's hot weather in Old Portsmouth.

Staying hydrated, keeping your house well ventilated, and looking out for elderly members of the community were key actions in the heat, according to Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘People have got to be sensible.

‘We have got to operate as if we were in the Mediterranean. That means if its hotter outside than it is inside, shut your windows, and at night open your windows and let the cold air in.’

The chairman of older people’s group Pompey Pensioners said the heat could be a ‘killer’ – and it was vital for residents to keep up the community spirit foster by the Covid-19 lockdowns, with residents checking on their elderly neighbours.

Group leader Steve Bonner said: ‘Since lockdown, people have really stepped up to check in on older people.

‘And we would encourage people to continue to wear masks even throughout the hot weather.’

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And the extreme heat should be a ‘wake up’ call that the climate is changing, according to city’s council, who said there will be widespread ramifications of a warming climate.

He said: ‘We’re getting more and more extreme weather events.

‘Things are going to have to change – for instance, we now need to build houses so they don’t get really hot in them.

‘That’s what the need of the future will be with more extreme weather.’

The Met Office introduced extreme heat warnings were introduced at the start of this month as forecasts predicted a record-breaking heat wave.

The Met Office warning said: ‘The wider population are likely to experience some adverse health effects including sunburn or heat exhaustion – dehydration, nausea, fatigue - and other heat related illnesses

‘More people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents

‘An increased chance that some heat-sensitive systems and equipment may fail, leading to power cuts and the loss of other services to some homes and businesses.’

The new warning was brought in after consultations with Public Health England and the UK's other health agencies, with the intention of highlighting the dangers of heatwaves.

England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all recorded their hottest day of the year so far over the weekend.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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