Recent heatwave killed 700 people in France

The sweltering heatwave that hit France earlier this month was responsible for the deaths of 700 people, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Thursday.

Recent heatwave killed 700 people in France
A nurse cools an elderly patient in a hospital near Paris. Photo: AFP
The heatwave that hit France between the 29th of June and the 5th of July left 700 dead, the ministry announced on Thursday.
The figures were taken from the fact that there were seven percent more deaths registered in France during this period than at the same time last year. 
Almost 3,600 people were hospitalized during the heatwave, while almost 1,500 people saw their local GP after suffering from the heat, the ministry added. 
The heatwave was a record breaker in some parts of the country for the time of the year, and even in the capital temperatures almost hit 40C.
While the death tally is high, it pales in comparison to the heatwave of 2003 that resulted in the deaths of 15,000 mostly elderly people.
The tragedy saw the government launch an emergency response programme in which authorities can raise a three-tiered alarm system to ensure there won't be a repeat.
France is currently in the middle of another mini-heatwave, with temperatures forecast to soar into the mid to high thirties across the entire eastern half of the country on Thursday afternoon (see map below). 

(Thursday afternoon forecast: Map: Meteo France)
After the temperature is forecast to hang around the low twenties late on Thursday night, the weather will remain warm on Friday and then cool somewhat into the weekend. 

(Thursday night forecast: Map: Meteo France)

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South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.