The heat wave in France is progressing

(Bordeaux) Temperatures between 30 and 35ºC across the entire southern half of the country, the heatwave out of Spain progressed on Wednesday but the worst is yet to come with a mercury still likely to panic as it surpasses 40ºC on site on Friday.

Updated yesterday at 3:42pm.

Nathalie ALONSO with the offices of AFP
Media Agency France

As a sign of this deterioration, Météo-France has activated the orange “heat wave” alert for 23 departments of a large southwestern neighborhood from Anjou to the Pyrenees, not to mention a heat island in the Drôme/Ardèche, according to the latest Meteo-France dot.

According to Météo-France, the maximum at 3 p.m. in the south of the country fluctuated between 30 and 35 °C in the wake of the hot air masses from the Maghreb over Spain. And that is just the beginning.

“From Friday we have a mercury panic with 40 ° C, which are regularly reached in the south-west and are possible up to the Loire as in the Rhône valley,” warns Olivier Proust, meteorologist at Météo-France.

“Saturday promises to be the peak of the heatwave, with 35 to 39°C spread fairly widely over much of the territory, from the Garonne to the north-east across the Rhône valley, Paris region, Center Val-de -Loire,” stressed Tristan Amm, another meteorologist at Météo-France.

Météo-France had on Tuesday estimated that few departments could be placed on orange alert, but “this has been revised upwards, we have started with a more bearish scenario implying warmer temperatures than we anticipated yesterday (Tuesday)”, he told AFP.

Heat waves attributed to global warming are increasing around the world, including in France, where this episode is unprecedentedly early, the earliest, ahead of those of 2017 and 2005, which began June 18.

This heat wave “complicates the aridity of the soil” after a particularly dry spring and winter and increases “the risk of wildfires,” Mr Proust warns.

In the south-east, the Vaucluse department has been put on alert for ozone pollution – pollution produced by the chemical conversion of other pollutants in the ambient air under the influence of solar radiation – and the Bouches-du-Rhône will be on Thursday.

In Île-de-France, the ONF warned of a high risk of forest fires and called for “vigilance” given the heat combined with the high influx of hikers in June.

“It’s become uninhabitable! »

In this suffocating context, more than 500,000 high school students worked for four hours on the dreaded philosophy exam, equipped with plenty of water, in bottles and sprayers, as at the Lycée Général Victor-Louis in Talence, in a Bordeaux suburb, where the examination rooms “on the north wall ’ were set up, sheltered from the scorching sun.

Here, “since 5:30 a.m. this (Wednesday) morning,” the staff “have been very careful to select and air the freshest ones,” notes Anne Bisagni-Faure, rector of the Bordeaux Academy.

In his student residence in Toulouse, Gabriel, 19, already finds the atmosphere “intolerable”. “I can’t even open the only window in my 20-meter apartment.2 because it overlooks a garden where there are many insects. And the bathroom ventilation hasn’t worked for three days.”

The same unease for Louis Layrac, 23, an industrial mechanic trainee in the pink city. “With the blouse, the safety shoes, it becomes uninhabitable,” he assures.

Given the temperatures that put the body to the test, some companies are adapting by modulating the hours, particularly in the construction industry, explains Emmanuel Corbi on a Toulouse construction site.

“Our infrastructures are suffering because we have expansion phenomena linked to the temperature both in the rail and in the overhead line”, indicates for his part Thierry Rose, area manager of the SNCF infrastructures at Bordeaux St-Jean station, where 51.7 ° C were recorded at rail level during the day.

For their part, the municipalities are stepping up measures to relieve the burden on local residents. In Bordeaux, smoke machines will be “installed in places around the city that are ovens,” states EELV Town Hall Health and Seniors Assistant Sylvie Justome.

In both Lyon and Bordeaux, two ecological communes, we have extended the opening hours of parks and gardens. In the Tarn, the mayor of the village of Saint-Benoît-de-Carmaux has decided to close the municipal school on Thursdays and Fridays while a day-care center is offered.

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