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Heatwave melts asphalt at UK airport, suspending flights

The British Meteorological Office declared a red alert for high temperatures exceeding 100 Fahrenheit for the first time

July 19, 2022 5:28pm

Updated: July 20, 2022 4:40am

High temperatures in Europe led to the temporary suspension of some flights at Luton Airport in London, the capital of the United Kingdom, on Monday after the heat lifted and melted some of the tarmacs on the air terminal's runway.

Flights had been temporarily suspended to "allow for essential repairs to the runway," damaged after high temperatures lifted a "small section" of the tarmac, a Luton spokesman said.

The airfield management also reported that as of 6:00 p.m. local time normality could be restored for both departing and arriving flights, reported the British media BBC.

Some airlines, such as EasyJet or Ryanair had to divert some of their arrivals to nearby airports. EasyJet also reported having to cancel some flights to Belfast, Milan, and Palma.

High temperatures broke all-time records in the United Kingdom, exceeding 40ºC for the first time due to the heat wave sweeping Western Europe, which is causing forest fires to rage across the Iberian Peninsula.

In Spain, the heat wave suffered by almost the entire country after the entry of a mass of warm air from the Sahara, leaves in its eighth day highs above 100 degrees in several areas.

Fire continues to ravage thousands of hectares in Spain in forest fires. The advance of the flames in Zamora (northwestern Spain) has already left two dead, one missing, and more than 10,000 hectares burned, reported Spanish newspaper Opinión de Zamora.

The Royal Institute of Meteorology has recommended the population to drink water frequently and take shelter in cool places. The railway service has announced that it will suspend 34 trains on Tuesday during peak hours to avoid possible technical failures due to the high temperatures.