Status: 07/17/2022 10:47 PM

Southern Europe is groaning under record temperatures and water shortages. The highest heat warning level has been announced for parts of western France. The heat wave peak is expected on Monday.

Given the expected heat, people in western France are urged to be very careful. The Météo France weather service imposed the highest warning level in red for almost the entire French Atlantic coast and other western regions, with only the southern end of the coastline with the Pyrenees-Atlantic Department receiving the second highest warning level in orange. This applies to a total of 51 French departments. Warnings are valid for 24 hours and are updated in the early morning and afternoon.

Temperatures should reach 37 to 40 degrees Celsius in the southwest on Sunday. The heat spreads north. The heatwave is supposed to peak in western France on Monday. The temperatures here should often rise to 40 degrees Celsius or more. Temperature records are almost certain to be broken. According to the weather service, the weather should get hotter in the east. Temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees in this part of the country on Tuesday, while the west is likely to cool slowly.

Impact on the Tour de France

Constantly high temperatures affect the Tour de France. Because of the intense heat, the severe weather protocol for the Tour de France has gone into effect. As announced by the organizers, three special regulations apply to the fifteenth stage from Rodez to Carcassonne at temperatures of 40 degrees.

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Drivers can eat from the start up to ten kilometers before the finish. Empty bottles can also be thrown away outside garbage areas when cycling fans are on the side of the road. In addition, the slack—the maximum gap in a winner’s time—was set to 20 percent, regardless of their average speed.

Hundreds of deaths

In other parts of Europe, people have been experiencing very high temperatures for days. In Portugal and neighboring Spain in particular, the thermometer has been regularly rising above the 40-degree mark for about a week – with dire consequences. According to doctors, hundreds of people died as a result.

And in Spain, which has a population of about 47 million, 360 people have died since last Sunday as a result of high temperatures, according to the newspaper “La Vanguardia”, quoting the Carlos III State Health Institute. reported in Madrid. On Sunday, a 50-year-old man collapsed on a street in Torrejon de Ardoz, near Madrid. Rescue workers said that paramedics could no longer help him, his body temperature rose to 40 degrees.

Portugal, which has a population of ten million, reported that 238 deaths were counted between July 7 and July 13 compared to similar periods in previous years. These deaths are also attributed to the extreme temperatures.

In many areas, heat and drought also cause wildfires. Thousands of hectares were set ablaze in Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and France, many people had to flee the fires and entire villages had to be evacuated. In Spain, the biggest concern was a fire in the municipality of Pont de Vilomara, about 50 kilometers north of the Catalan capital Barcelona. According to the authorities, the blaze that broke out in the afternoon destroyed about a thousand hectares of forest in just six hours. They also seized some homes and vehicles. Catalan Interior Minister Joan Elena said 200 people had been taken to safety.

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