September 24, 2021

Balkan Travellers

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The American West in the grip of a new heat wave

Forecasters have issued a warning bulletin for the metropolitan area of ​​Las Vegas and several urban centers, including Phoenix (Arizona) and San Jose (California).

The U.S. is likely to break new temperature records as many parts of the west of the country are affected by the heat wave, which is the second in weeks. “Dangerous heat wave will affect most of western America, recording high temperatures”, The National Weather Service (NWS) warned Sunday.

For their part, the Canadian Meteorological Service said the maximum temperature in the west of the country is approaching 32 degrees Celsius, which is above seasonal norms. In the country, authorities have announced emergency measures to prevent wildfires “Extreme weather”, The number of fires in the province of British Columbia rose to 298 on Sunday, July 11, 50 of which have started in the last two days.

In the United States, the thermometer soared over most of the Pacific edge over the weekend and over large areas west of the Rockies. According to the NWS, Las Vegas reached its all-time high of 47.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday, reaching the city in the middle of the Nevada desert for the first time in 1942 and three times since 2005. On Sunday, mercury was expected to drop slightly in the city as it touched 52.2 degrees Celsius (126 degrees Fahrenheit) in Death Valley, California, known as the hottest spot in the United States. Forecasters have issued a warning bulletin to the metropolitan area of ​​Las Vegas and several urban centers, including Phoenix (south) and San Silicon Valley, not far from San Francisco. “More than 30 million people affected by heat warning bulletin or warning”The NWS said on Saturday that particularly dangerous high temperatures and dry conditions are expected to continue Sunday.

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Prohibited trains

This new heat wave has been coming in for the past three weeks, hitting the western United States and Canada at the end of June, thus breaking the heat record for three consecutive days in the Canadian province of Colombia. British. The death toll from this first wave is not yet known, but is estimated at several hundred. “Unprecedented weather in British Columbia continues to pose a serious threat to public safety and rail operations”Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alcabra said in a statement on Sunday.

As a result, a ministerial order is issued “Preventive measures against wildfires (…)”Such as reducing the speed of trains when the temperature exceeds 30 C and the degree of fire risk to that area “Serious”. In addition, until October 31, 2021, no locomotive should operate in these areas unless inspected within the previous 15 days. “Locomotive exhaust systems release flammable materials”. Wildfire trains are a common cause, especially if their spark arrestors are not properly maintained.

Many roads and highways in British Columbia have been closed, the government estimates “Serious” Risk of fire in the province. Eviction orders were also issued at about ten locations in the province. On Friday, the Transport Safety Board of Canada announced that it was sending a commission of inquiry “A freight train may have been involved following a fire in Lytton”. This British Columbia village was completely destroyed by fire after breaking national heat records for three days in a row.

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June is the hottest month on record in North America, according to data released by the European Union’s Climate Monitoring Service. So far, human activity has caused global temperatures to rise to about 1.1 degrees Celsius, resulting in more devastating storms, higher heat waves, droughts and wildfires. This is the hottest six years on record in the last six years.