- 13 more departments in France placed on Orange alert bringing total to 78
- Hundreds of school closed due to high temperatures
- Trains operating a slower service
- Traffic restrictions in Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Grenoble
- Agriculture minister bans transportation of animals
A total of 13 more departments in France have been placed on heatwave alert by France's national weather agency Meteo France.
That brings the total with weather warnings in place up to 78, with the map showing most of France is now on alert for the searing heat, with the pubic warned to take precautions until the heatwave is over, which is forecast to be the beginning of next week.
The new departments on alert are Ariège, Aude, Bouches-du-Rhône, Charente-Maritime, Corse-du-Sud, Haute-Corse, Gard, Gers, Hérault, Ille-et-Vilaine, Loire-Atlantique, Var and Vendée.
The Orange alerts from Météo France come with advice to members of the public in those affected areas which includes advising people to avoid going out during the hottest part of the day and drinking fluids regularly even when not thirsty. (For more advice on staying cool CLICK HERE.)
The national weather agency has predicted temperatures rising to between 38C and 41C in the southern regions and between 42C and 44C on Friday in the Rhône valley.
The heatwave has also led to several nursery and primary school closures on Thursday and Friday throughout France.
The government has allowed mayors and head teachers to decide whether or not to close their school, given the conditions and, according to a report in Le Parisien, a few hundred have opted to close.
The greater Paris region of Ile-de-France, where temperatures are expected to be around 34C on Thursday and Friday, is one of the regions most affected by the school closures.
SNCF announced on Wednesday that traffic has been slowed down on certain lines because of the high temperatures.
“It is possible that on some lines, there are some slowdowns because of the high temperatures that can cause the rails to dilate,” said a spokesman for the SNCF.
“These are fairly inconsequential delays, of the order of 5 to 10 minutes on some lines,” she continued. This “concerns especially high-speed lines, where the speed is 280-300 km/h rather than 330 km/h, which generates delays on arrival […] but it is not very problematic.”
Regional cities also followed in the footsteps of the French capital's traffic restrictions over fears over a pollution spike due to the heat.
Marseille has traffic restrictions in place for the first time, and Grenoble and Lyon will also try to limit the number of cars on the roads.
This means that only vehicles carrying Crit'Air 3 stickers 0, 1, 2 or 3, as well as people with electric vehicles, will be permitted to drive.
France's agriculture minister Didier Guillaume also banned the transportation of farm animals during the heatwave, including animals set to be exported.