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Horror as three heatwaves in July caused extra 1,500 deaths in England and Wales

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The three official July heatwaves took place across the dates 10 to 22, 23 to 25 and 30 to 31.

On these days the average death rate was seven percent higher than on the other dates in the same month in England.

An average of 1,224 people died each day during the month’s three heatwaves, up from the other days when the figure was 1,149.

In Wales an additional nine deaths were recorded on the hottest days, up from 74 to 83 compared to the rest of the month.

This works out as a total of 1,512 extra deaths across the 18 hottest days of the month in July.

Daily COVID-19 deaths were also higher on the hotter days, jumping from 46 on average to 60 during the heatwave.

A spokesperson for the ONS said: “Excess deaths during this period could be because of a combination of factors, not just the increase in heat.

“Further investigation is required to understand this fully, including more deaths being registered.”

The Met Office also confirmed that the UK experienced its hottest night ever during last month’s extraordinary heat.

On the night of July 19 the temperature went through a whole night without dropping below 26.8C at Shirburn Model Farm in Oxfordshire.

This is the same day that saw the daylight heat record broken, as the mercury reached 40.3C in Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

It is believed that climate change is causing this increase in hot dry weather.

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Met Office data quality manager John Penman, said: “This new record is another reminder of just how severe the heat was in July.

“What is remarkable is just how much this has surpassed the previous record, exceeding the August 1990 record of 23.9C by nearly three degrees.

“Much like the daytime highs, the overnight temperatures have smashed the previous records during a period of unprecedented heat in the UK.”

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