Record Setting Heat Wave Threatens Notre Dame Collapse

July 25, 2019 Topic: History Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: HistoryNotre DameFranceHeat Wave

Record Setting Heat Wave Threatens Notre Dame Collapse

Can it be stopped? 

The architect responsible for restoring Notre Dame has warned that unprecedented temperatures may cause the cathedral to collapse.

France has issued its highest possible level of weather alert as thermometers in Paris soar to 105 degrees amidst a record-setting European heatwave, according to the BBC. High temperatures have architect Philippe Villeneuve worried that the Notre Dame may collapse if its masonry becomes dehydrated. The Notre Dame Cathedral is currently undergoing repairs after a devastating fire in April.

“My anxiety is that the joints or masonry, by dint of drying lose their coherence, cohesion, or structural quality and that the vault may fall,” Villenuve told Euro News.

“We are still in extreme urgency of securing the site,” says the architect, according to The Associated Press.

Paris is not the only city experiencing severe heat. The U.K. is also expected to break its all-time high-temperature record of 101 degrees on Thursday reports the Met Office.

Germany and Belgium have already set new highs (106 and 104 respectively) according to Insider, as the Netherlands has shattered its record twice in one week, topping out at 103 degrees, reports the BBC.

“What we have at the moment is this very warm stream of air, coming up from northern Africa, bringing with it unusually warm weather,” Dr. Peter Scott of the Met Office explained to the BBC. Dr. Scott was also quick to blame climate change, claiming that “without climate change we wouldn’t have hit the peaks that we’re hitting right now.”

One problem Europeans are encountering during this record setting July is a lack of air conditioning. 90% of American homes have AC, compared to 5% of French homes and just 3% of British and German homes, according to the BBC.

Already, scorching temperatures have caused significant damage across the continent. France has seen five heat-related deaths, German lakes and rivers have evaporated, hundreds of pigs have died in the Netherlands, and British trains are running slower than usual for fear that tracks will buckle, reports the BBC.

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