| 13.2°C Belfast

NI three-day extreme heat warning in force with public urged to conserve water and keep safe

The Northern Ireland public have been asked to reduce “unnecessary water use” in order to protect supplies in the region, after the Met Office issued an extreme heat warning.

The Department for Infrastructure also warned there could be potential travel disruption, as it called on the public to only take essential journeys.

The amber heat alert has been put in place for 8am on Wednesday and will last until midnight on Friday.

Forecasters have said temperatures will increase for the rest of the week leading to “public health impacts”.

The infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon said demand for water was currently “outstripping” supply.

"NI Water is working hard to mitigate any impacts from this but we all have a role to play. I am appealing to everyone to please reduce unnecessary use to protect supplies. If everyone simply uses the water they actually need, there will be plenty for everyone,” she said.

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"In light of the current high temperatures, along with the ongoing pandemic, I would remind the public to avoid visiting places where there is a chance that large numbers of people will gather and crowds will form.

"This is particularly important as we know that delays are likely and this may result in people being in cars or on public transport for an extended period of time which can be very uncomfortable in very hot weather.

“We know that the very high temperatures can have an impact on the rail network with track speeds reduced causing delays to services. In recent days we have seen large numbers of people flocking to beauty spots across Northern Ireland.

"While I understand that people want to enjoy the good weather, health and safety must be of paramount importance. Translink will work to provide some additional capacity on the busiest routes where possible however I would strongly urge the public to consider if their journey is necessary over the coming days.”

Northern Ireland’s First and deputy First Ministers also echoed the call for the public to stay safe during the spell of hot weather.

Paul Givan said people should “take steps to protect themselves” and said people should not take “risks” in the extreme conditions.

Michelle O’Neill added: “Of course many people are keen to experience the good weather, but we ask everyone to take care of themselves, and others so that no one comes to any harm as a result of the extreme heat.

"Please check in on anyone who might be more vulnerable, including older family, friends and neighbours.”

At the weekend, the townland of Ballywatticock in Co Down hit a record high temperature hitting 31.2 degrees on the mercury.

The Met Office said the current hot weather is expected to continue until later this week, with daytime temperatures peaking on Wednesday and Thursday. High overnight temperatures are also expected before temperatures fall on Friday.

Temperatures could hit 27 degrees on Tuesday with a high of 29 forecast for Wednesday.

The wider population are likely to experience some adverse health effects including sunburn or heat exhaustion (dehydration, nausea, fatigue) and other heat related illnesses, it has been warned.

There is also a warning of power cuts with some systems sensitive to prolonged exposure to the heat.

And with more heading to the coastal areas, traffic delays can be expected and people have been urge to prepare for long journeys and to keep hydrated.

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