Fatalities, Nudity, and Melting Roads Mark Earth's Heat Wave

Scary stories from Quebec and Hong Kong
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2018 4:15 PM CDT
Man Walks Naked in Vermont, and Other Tales of Extreme Heat
While the heat waves rise up from the ground, a woman crosses the railroad tracks as temperatures climb past 112-degrees Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

You may have noticed, it's hot outside. So did a man who strolled through Burlington, Vermont, Thursday without a stitch on and managed to avoid any reaction from the police, the Burlington Free Press reports. "It looks out of place; it is out of place—it's weird," says Lt. Jon Young. "But there's typically not a lot we can do. You leave your house without your clothes on, hey, it's your choice. It's not mine." The man could have been fined $50 if he had entered a city park, or been charged if he behaved lewdly, but he only walked around wearing a hat and sneakers while carrying a green tote bag, the AP reports. It was "a random naked person in a random place," says Young. "It happens more often than you think." In other heatwave news:

  • The Canadian province of Quebec has seen 54 people die in their stifling-hot apartments, mostly elderly people living alone, the Globe & Mail reports. "There was no air. It was suffocating," says a first responder who worked this week. “Think of temperatures 43 C (109 F), 45 C (113 F). You open a window and nothing happens."
  • Firefighters battling high heat in the western US struggled to hold back some wildfires while making progress against others, the AP reports. An overnight blaze in Santa Barbara County was held back at about 100 acres but destroyed 20 structures. This after Southern California broke all-time heat records Friday, hitting 117 F in Ramona and 114 F in Santa Ana, the Washington Post reports.

  • A survey among the poor in Hong Kong shows that people are suffering from sleeplessness and depression in their overheated apartments, the South China Morning Post reports. "My 6 ½ year-old daughter only wears underwear at home as it is too hot. She can’t sleep and often has fever," says one resident. "She has to shower three times at night. We have dinner at the park after making food at home."
  • In England, the heat caused several sinkholes—one of which caused a garbage truck to sink into the road in Newbury, Berkshire, the Guardian reports. The truck was later towed away. In Newcastle, a man's foot sank nearly knee-deep into a road and he had to be chiseled out. "Thankfully he didn’t break his ankle as he was wearing his grandad's Dr Martens," the local fire department posted on Facebook.
  • The rolling countryside of Wales is so parched that the outlines of ancient settlements are being revealed underneath, the BBC reports. The Roman settlements and ancient hillforts become visible because their drainage ditches hold onto nutrients and water during heat spells, and crops around them take advantage by growing thicker and taller.
  • In fairly good news for the northeast—and Vermonters who prefer their neighbors clothed—temperatures will be only a few degrees hotter than normal next week, unlike this week's 10-to-15-degree spike, Accuweather reports.

This week's heatwave was has been attributed to "a warming world." (Read more heat wave stories.)

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