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CLIMATE

Heatwave continues as 15 French départements now on red weather alert

Fifteen French départements, including the Paris region, are now on the highest level of weather warning as the heatwave is set to last until at least Wednesday.

Heatwave continues as 15 French départements now on red weather alert
Photo: AFP

French weather forecaster météo Frace has placed 15 départements on red alert, the highest level of warning where there is a “danger to life or health”.

The whole of the Île-de-France and Hauts-de-France regions are on alert, plus the départements of Eure and Seine-Maritime in Normandy.

Another 54 départements are on orange alert for high temperatures.

 

Temperatures began spiking last week and all over France very high temperatures were recorded on Sunday, including 31.7C in La Couronne, 37.1C in Lille, 37.3C in Grenoble, 37.8C in Bergerac, 38C in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Auch, Toulouse and Bron, 38.1C in Chabeuil, 38.3C in Argentat, 38.7C in Le Montat and 38C in Castres.

 

A record was broken in Rouen where 38.4C was recorded and in Creil, in Oise, the temperatures equalled the August 2003 record of 39.1C.

Météo France also pointed out that “temperatures remained high during the night, often around 20 to 23C, but sometimes 24/25C, as the night's thunderstorms did not cause any lasting cooling”.

And tempeartures are forecast to stay high until Wednesday, when the country will gradually begin cooling from the west and many areas will see thunderstorms.

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ENVIRONMENT

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Across south west France trapping campaigns have begun in an attempt to control the numbers of dangerous Asian hornets.

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Trapping campaigns are organised annually at this time of year, as the weather begins to get warmer and queens begin to emerge from hibernation.

And the Charente-Maritime town of Royan Atlantique, on France’s west coast, is leading the way, as the below video shows.

Experts say that now is the time to begin using the traps, as catching queen hornets in the process of building their nests will lead to far fewer insects later in the year. 

Some 2,000 traps are installed in and around Royan this year, including 300 that were distributed to householders in the week of Valentine’s Day. 

Once installed, the traps can capture several dozen insects at a time.

In order to capture a maximum of hornet queens, traps should be installed between mid-February and mid-May. Especially since during this period, these predators end up coming out of their hibernation.

It is believed Asian hornets arrived in France around 2004. They have now spread nationwide.

Although their venom is not more powerful than that of normal bees or wasps, they are known to be more aggressive towards humans, and their stings can cause anaphylactic shock in allergic people.

The hornets also damage beehives and kill bees, damaging honey stocks and destroying the native ecosystem.

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