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In Pictures: Snow causes transport disruption across northern France

Snowfall arrived in France on Tuesday morning, as swathes of the north were on alert and transport services were disrupted. Here's a look at images of the disruption. Please tweet yours to @TheLocalFrance.

In Pictures: Snow causes transport disruption across northern France
File photo: AFP

Swathes of northern France were on alert for snow and ice on Tuesday, with snowfall leading traffic authorities to close road, cancel bus services and salt streets.  

A total of 24 departments are on orange alert, the second highest weather warning, by France's national weather agency Meteo France. 

In the greater Paris region of Île-de-France police have activated level 2 of the snow and ice plan.

A total of 150 bus services were suspended in the French capital until further notice, with people are advised to postpone unnecessary travel.

The normally busy N118 was closed in both directions in the Yvelines department of the Ile-de-France on Tuesday morning.

Here's a photo of the road looking deserted. 

The speed limit has also been reduced to 80km / h across the region.

From 6 am, vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes and vehicles carrying dangerous goods are banned from the RN 118 road, where 900 people were stuck in their cars last year, and the road was salted overnight.

Meanwhile French railway operator SNCF is on “pre-alert” and the staff for French capital's transport operator RATP agents are “mobilized” and “ready to implement the necessary measures,” according to a spokesman.

The head of the road operation department for the department of the Somme in the northern Hauts-de-France region is also prepared. 
 
“Our salt stocks are refueled, our winter service equipment is operational and any small malfunctions will be repaired during the day,” Michel Boucher told Europe 1.
 

 
In the event of traffic difficulties, the Ministry of Ecological Transition has asked the public to limit travel and has encouraged drivers to use traffic info service Bison Futé.
 
In the Hauts-de-France, where the five departments are on orange alert, the regional council has already suspended school and intercity transport in the Aisne, Pas-de-Calais and part of the Nord departments all day on Tuesday.
 
Here's a look at some of the images of the disruption from around the country. 
 
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Unsurprisingly accidents were increasing on the roads. 

 

In the town of Saint-Michel-sur-Orge in the Essonne department in the southern suburbs of Paris level three of the snow and ice plan was activated, with safety checks being carried out. 

 

 

Roads in the areas placed on alert were being salted. 

 

 

Here's an example of the disruption caused by the closing of the N118 road. 

 

 

Here's a look at the snowy conditions in the Hauts-de-France region. 

 
Snow was on the roads early on Tuesday morning. 
 

 

City staff were up early on Tuesday. 

 

 

 

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CLIMATE CRISIS

Scorching summer was France’s second hottest on record

Three heatwaves since June produced France's second-hottest summer since records began in 1900, the Météo France weather service said on Tuesday, warning that scorching temperatures will be increasingly common as the climate crisis intensifies.

Scorching summer was France's second hottest on record

With 33 days of extreme heat overall, average temperatures for June, July and August were 2.3C above normal for the period of 1991-2020.

It was surpassed only by the 2003 heatwave that caught much of France unprepared for prolonged scorching conditions, leading to nearly 15,000 heat-related deaths, mainly among the elderly.

Data is not yet available for heat-related deaths this summer, but it is likely to be significantly lower than 15,000 thanks to preventative measures taken by local and national authorities. 

Most experts attribute the rising temperatures to the climate crisis, with Météo France noting that over the past eight summers in France, six have been among the 10-hottest ever.

By 2050, “we expect that around half of summer seasons will be at comparable temperatures, if not higher,” even if greenhouse gas emissions are contained, the agency’s research director Samuel Morin said at a press conference.

The heat helped drive a series of wildfires across France this summer, in particular a huge blaze in the southwest that burned for more than a month and blackened 20,000 hectares. 

Unusually, wildfires also broke out even in the normally cooler north of the country, and in total an area five times the size of Paris burned over the summer. 

Adding to the misery was a record drought that required widespread limits on water use, with July the driest month since 1961 – many areas still have water restrictions in place.

MAP: Where in France are there water restrictions and what do they mean?

Forecasters have also warned that autumn storms around the Mediterranean – a regular event as air temperatures cool – will be unusually intense this year because of the very high summer temperatures. A storm that hit the island of Corsica in mid August claimed six lives. 

“The summer we’ve just been through is a powerful call to order,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday, laying out her priorities for an “ecological planning” programme to guide France’s efforts against climate change.

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