News World

French government to hold crisis meeting as heatwave mounts

France to patrol every church for Easter security: minister

France’s government will on Thursday hold a crisis meeting to tackle a heatwave that could reach its high point at the weekend, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne‘s office told AFP.

Senior civil servants from Borne’s office as well as the interior, health, agriculture and transport ministries were set to meet at 5:00 pm (1500 GMT).

Paris has been stepping up hot weather protection measures this summer after 2022 brought intense heat and fierce wildfires, with four of mainland France and Corsica’s 96 departments currently at elevated fire risk and drought affecting two-thirds of water tables.

Some 500 hectares were scorched in the Pyrenees-Orientales department bordering Spain on Monday night.

And seven departments in southeastern France are on alert for summer storms and intense heat.

Meanwhile the SPF public health authority said Thursday that at least 30 more deaths than normal had occurred during a July heatwave in the southeastern Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, on top of 80 in a first episode in June.

More than 4,800 deaths were attributed to heat in France last summer, out of 61,000 across Europe.

On Thursday, temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) were expected across much of southern France, with peaks of up to 37.

A so-called “heat dome” trapping new hot air arriving from the south is expected to form in the coming days.

“These high temperatures are set to last, with peaks nearing 40C on the Mediterranean coast and the Rhone valley from this weekend,” weather authority Meteo France said.

Heat will spread into central and northern France as well, with temperatures of 35C forecast for Paris.

Thermometers will not begin to fall until “the middle or even the end of next week,” Meteo France added.

Meteorologists have even suggested that France could see its most intense heatwave ever — outstripping 2012’s record — with an average temperature of 27 degrees recorded for multiple days across 30 monitoring stations nationwide.

About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

Daily Newsletter