Half of France on ‘orange’ weather alert as temperatures soar

Half of France on 'orange' weather alert as temperatures soar
France is set to see scorching temperatures in the coming days. Photo: AFP
A total of 45 French départements have now been placed on orange alert as temperatures climb around the country.

In total 45 of the country's 96 mainland départements are now on orange alert – a swathe running from north to south of the country and including Paris.

French weather agency Météo France said: “On Friday, maximum temperatures will rise sharply, making it the hottest day of the week over much of the west of the country, with maximums reaching 37 to 40C, with local highs of 41C to 42C, from the Pays de la Loire to Poitou-Charentes to Aquitaine and much of Occitanie, probably approaching record highs in places.

“In the other departments placed on orange alert, the heat will also be marked, around 34 to 39C, except on the coast.

“This scorching episode will be long-lasting and will be characterised by hot or very hot nights and high maximum temperatures. However, its intensity is expected to be less than in 2019 and 2003, and its duration less than in 2003.”

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In Paris local authorities have decided to respond to the heat with the “level 3” heatwave plan which includes the free distribution of fans to vulnerable people and the opening up of air-conditioned 'cool rooms'. There will also be extra provision for the homeless.

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To stem pollution levels in the capital and its surroundings, regional authorities limited the types of vehicles allowed to drive.

“Only vehicles with a Crit'Air sticker classified as 0, 1 and 2 will be able to take to the roads,” a statement published on the Paris police chief's Twitter account said.

 

The restrictive measures entered into effect from 5.30am and 8pm, and would continue “until the end of this pollution episode,” the police statement said.

The measures could therefore be kept in place throughout the weekend, which is set to be even hotter.

The heatwave will linger over France for a few days at least, and Friday and Saturday could see local temperatures of 41C in the south and between 35C and 39 in the north.

 

France was already hit by a heatwave last week, and 68 of the country's 101 départements have entered a state of official drought.

MAP: Where in France has water restrictions in place

Several forest fires saw seen thousands evacuated in the south on Wednesday as wildfires ravaged large areas of vegetation near the port city Marseille.

In the southwest, dozens were evacuated last week as wildfires tore through the forest.

Météo France said Paris had a water deficit of 85 percent.

“It's the driest first half of the summer ever observed in the capital, equal to 1952, since the beginning of measurements in 1873,” the weather agency said.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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