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France boils in second hottest summer ever

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France boils in second hottest summer ever
Women in swimsuits lie on the water mirror in Bordeaux, on July 1st during a blistering heatwave. Photo: Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP
11:57 CEST+02:00
Did you find this year's French heatwave a bit excessive? You weren't imagining it. Summer 2015 will go down in the history books as the second hottest on record – and one of the deadliest.

This summer France has sweltered under a series of heatwaves with temperatures almost reaching 40C in Paris in July, the hottest the city has been since July 1947.

The heatwave between June 29th and July 5th alone is estimated to have claimed 700 lives, while almost 3,600 people were hospitalized, according to France's Ministry of Health.

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.

Although the toll is high, it pales in comparison to the deadly heatwave of 2003. That summer, an additional 15,000 deaths were recorded, 55 percent more than the normal rate.

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.

Even so, this summer saw record-breaking temperatures, with 38.7C recorded in Strasbourg and Mulhouse, and 39.7C in Paris this August, overtaking the temperatures recorded in August 2003.

But this week temperatures are expected to be cooler, with average temperatures across France set to remain in the low to late twenties.

The forecast for Tuesday afternoon:

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