Runways Begin to Melt at British RAF Base and UK Airport, Forced to Ground All Flights

A heat wave in Britain led to two runways — one military and one commercial — being closed Monday. The RAF halted flights at Brize Norton, its largest air base, because the “runway has melted,” a military source reportedly told Sky News. Britain said the RAF is still flying. “During this period of extreme temperature flight safety remains the RAF’s top priority, so aircraft are using alternative airfields in line with a long-established plan. This means there is no impact on RAF operations,” the Ministry of Defense tweeted. Officials at Luton Airport, which serves a number of regional airlines, were slightly more reticent about its airport closure “Following today’s high temperatures, a surface defect was identified on the runway,” the airport announced in a statement. [firefly_poll] All air traffic was suspended beginning at 3 p.m. Flights restarted at 5:40 p.m. Airports were not alone. Railroad tracks buckled near London’s Vauxhall station, as well as in Norfolk, according to the Daily Mail. Elsewhere, trains were running at slower speeds due to concerns about the tracks, Kevin Groves from Network Rail said. Britain is in the grip of a heat wave with Tuesday high temperatures expected to top 40 degrees Celsius, or roughly 104 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Newsweek. The hottest temperature on record in Britain is 38.7 degrees Celsius, which was recorded on July 25, 2019. The Daily Mail said the Met Office is concerned about deaths in the country’s first-ever red extreme heat warning. Penny Endersby, chief executive of the Met Office said, “The extreme heat we are forecasting right now is absolutely unprecedented. Please treat the warnings we are putting out as seriously as you would a red or amber warning from us for wind or snow, and follow the advice.” “We’re certainly seeing people reacting a little bit differently to the heat warnings as though they think that maybe we shouldn’t be telling them to worry about heat the way we tell them to worry about storm or wind,” she said. “These temperatures are unprecedented in the U.K., and we’re not used to dealing with them. And heat undoubtedly causes many hundreds, thousands of excess deaths in heatwaves, so people do need to take care and follow the advice we’ve been putting out about keeping in the shade, keeping cool, keeping hydrated and so on,” she said. “Extreme heat can be dangerous to human health,” said Eunice Lo, a climate scientist at the University of Bristol, according to USA Today. “On average, about 2,000 extra deaths in England are related to heat waves each year. It is important to stay hydrated, stay indoors or under shade and check on friends and family during a heat wave.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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