Europe heatwave continues as France records hottest temperature in country’s history

Temperatures in France reach 45 degrees! France is braced for record-breaking temperatures in the south, and two people have died in Spain, as Europe continues to face a sweltering heatwave.

Four départements in southern France were placed on emergency red alert on Friday, the first time the measure has covered such a large area. Temperatures could exceed 45C in inland parts of Vaucluse, Gard, Hérault and Bouches-du-Rhône, breaking the mainland France record of 44.1C set in the southern region of Montpellier and Nîmes in August 2003.

Hundreds of schools have been closed and others have asked parents to keep children at home if possible. Middle-school exams have been postponed until next week.

In Spain, a 17-year-old boy died from heatstroke in the early hours of Friday after becoming unwell when working in the countryside in the Córdoba province of Andalucía. He is reported to have gone into convulsions after jumping into a swimming pool to cool down. Doctors were unable to save him and he died in hospital.

The second victim was an 80-year-old man who died on Thursday after collapsing from what is thought to have been another case of heatstroke in the city of Valladolid. Two other people are being treated for heatstroke in Spanish hospitals.

With temperatures expected to reach up to 42C on Friday, Spain’s meteorological office has issued a red alert in parts of Catalonia, Navarre and the Basque country. Hundreds of firefighters in Catalonia are battling to bring a huge wildfire under control, which has so far burned through 6,500 hectares of land and could consume as many as 20,000.

Larger cities on or near the French coast, such as Marseille, where sea-breezes mean slightly lower temperatures, opened museums for free on Friday for people to seek refuge in air-conditioned spaces. Many municipal swimming pools also opened for free. A record high of electricity consumption for summer was recorded as homes plugged in fans.

In the Italian city of Milan, a 72-year-old homeless man was found dead at the main train station after falling ill due to the heatwave, the local authorities said. 

As Germans attempted to cool off amid scorching temperatures, at least four people died in bathing accidents in different parts of the country on Wednesday.

Parts of Britain are also expected to experience hot temperatures on Saturday, with a high of 32C forecast for London.

Scientists have said Europe’s 2019 heatwave, like last year’s, is closely linked to the climate emergency and that such extreme weather events will be many times more likely over the coming decades.

source: Guradian

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