Experts Warn Notre Dame Could Collapse in Heat Wave
Europe is currently in the midst of a heat wave so intense that experts believe it could cause Notre Dame’s roof to collapse.
Philippe Villeneuve, the chief architect of France’s historic monuments, told reporters he’s extremely worried about the building’s integrity during the heat wave. The building, Villeneauve noted, is already in a fragile state due to the fire that nearly burned it to the ground in April.
"I am very worried about the heat wave because, as you know, the Cathedral suffered from the fire, the beams coming down, but also the shock from the water from the firefighters. The masonry is saturated with water," Villeneuve told Reuters.
Villeneuve explained that sensors were placed in the cathedral following the fire to monitor any movement. Though no movement has been detected that still isn’t placating the architect's worry.
"What I fear is that the joints or the masonry, as they dry, lose their coherence, their cohesion and their structural qualities and that all of a sudden, the vault gives way," he said. "As I speak here, the vaults could very well collapse, because since April 15, we haven't been able to access the vaults, neither from above nor from underneath."
According to SkyNews, the current heat wave bearing down on Europe is due to a high pressure system that stalled over the continent. Several nations shattered heat records over the last few days including The Netherlands, which set a new record of 102.7F, and Belgium, which hit 102F. Other nations could break records as well. As SkyNews reported, France is looking at a new record of 104F, Germany may hit 104.5F, and England could hit 104F as well.
Though this heat seems extreme scientists are warning that this could soon become the new normal on Earth.
"With further climate change there could be a 50 percent chance of having hot summers in future,” Declan Finney, a research fellow at the University of Leeds, told SkyNews."That's similar to saying that a normal summer in future will be as hot as our hottest summers to date."