France records its hottest EVER day as temperatures hit 113F during Saharan Bubble heatwave frying Europe as boy, 17, dies of heat exhaustion in Spain and wildfires ignited by chicken dung burn out of control
- The temperature was recorded in the southern village of Villevieille and beat the previous record of 111.4F
- The previous record was in Saint-Christol-les-Ales and Conqueyrac during notorious August 2003 heatwave
- Child was rushed to hospital in the southern city of Cordoba after collapsing while he worked in countryside
- Officials said he felt dizzy and jumped into the swimming pool at the property where he had been working
- Europe set to face sizzling heat with wildfires in Spain and record-breaking temperatures expected for France
- The country has issued red heatwave alerts for the first time ever as southern regions brace for the weather
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
France has recorded its hottest ever temperature of 113F (44.3C) as Europe sweltered in an early summer heatwave already blamed for several deaths.
With France, Spain, Italy and parts of central Europe particularly badly hit by the high temperatures, officials urged people to take common sense precautions – complaining that this was not always the case.
The record temperature was recorded in Villevieille, a village in the southern department of Gard near Montpellier, the same area where a previous high of 111.4F (44.1C) was set in August 2003, Meteo-France said.
Earlier the mercury rose above 111F (44C) in the southeastern town of Carpentras. The town was deserted, with cafe owners contemplating empty terraces, which would normally be packed.
France has recorded its hottest ever temperature of 112F (44.3C) as Europe sweltered in an early summer heatwave already blamed for several deaths. Pictured: A tourist looks across the Trocadero Fountain towards the Eiffel Tower in Paris
A woman poses as people bathe in the Trocadero Fountain near the Eiffel Tower as the temperature climbed over the course of the day
With France, Spain, Italy and parts of central Europe particularly badly hit by the high temperatures, officials urged people to take common sense precautions – complaining that this was not always the case. Pictured: A man protects himself from the sun under an umbrella during a heat wave in Palavas-les-Flots, southern France
As well as France, the rest of Europe was baking too, with tourists putting on towels to shelter from the sun in Rome, Italy (pictured)
Tourists use umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun as they visit the Sacred Family Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain
The new record makes France just the seventh European country to have recorded a plus 113F (45C) temperature, along with Bulgaria, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece and North Macedonia. Pictured: Tourists cool themselves off in the ‘Barcaccia’ fountain at Spain square in Rome, Italy
Three girls wearing swimsuits sit along the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris today as they try to cool off during the Saharan Bubble
Earlier, a record temperature was recorded in the southeastern town of Carpentras (pictured), and was the first to beat the previous record for France of 111.4F (44.1C) recorded in Saint-Christol-les-Ales and Conqueyrac during the notorious August 2003 heatwave
People sail on the Canal de l’Ourcq, which has been decorated for a summer festival in Paris. A mini tows a caravan followed by a skeleton on Friday
It beat the previous national record of 111.4F (44.1C) recorded in Saint-Christol-les-Ales and Conqueyrac during the notorious August 2003 heatwave, state weather forecaster Meteo-France said.
The new record makes France just the seventh European country to have recorded a plus 113F (45C) temperature, along with Bulgaria, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece and North Macedonia.
Meteo-France’s Etienne Kapikian said it was ‘very probable’ the record would be beaten again Friday as it was still relatively early in the day.
‘(The temperature) will continue to climb and, in some places, we could pass 44 degrees Celsius,’ he said.
French winemakers have welcomed the heat, saying weather could produce a superior vintage.
A woman sits under the sun along the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris on Friday. The country is set for record-breaking searing heat
‘We have never seen this!’ one exclaimed.
The average maximum temperature recorded in France on Wednesday of 95F (35C) was already a record for the month of June, said state weather forecaster Meteo France.
French President Emmanuel Macron warned that such extreme weather is likely to become more frequent as a result of global warming.
A dog jumps into the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris, on Friday. Schools have been spraying children with water and nursing homes are equipping the elderly with hydration sensors as France and other nations battle a record-setting heat wave baking much of Europe
‘We will need to change our set-up, our way of working, build differently,’ he said, stressing a necessary ‘adaption of society and its habits.’
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Thursday people had to be prepared for the peak of the heatwave and expressed irritation that some appeared not to be listening to advice.
She complained about parents leaving their children in the car and joggers exercising in the midday heat.
Schools have been spraying children with water and nursing homes are equipping the elderly with hydration sensors.
Centralised air conditioning is rare in France.
About 4,000 schools closed because they could not ensure safe conditions, and local authorities cancelled many end-of-school-year carnivals.
Some criticised the government for going overboard, but the prime minister defended the efforts after 15,000 people died in a heat wave in 2003 that woke France up to the risks.
Those schools that stayed open worked to keep kids cool.
Teachers at the Victor Hugo Primary School in Colombes near Paris abandoned suffocating classrooms and are keeping children outside all day, sprinkling them with water and organizing quiet activities in the shade.
‘I make them go in the playground with books, in the shade, they must stay seated, they keep hydrated on a regular basis,’ said teacher Valerie Prevost.
‘We tell them to dampen their caps, to drink regularly.
‘We’ve been given reusable cups so we make them drink very regularly.’
France has also seen an uptick in so-called street-pooling, or illegally opening fire hydrants.
A man uses a hose along the Canal de l’Ourcq in Paris on Friday to irrigate the grass as it sits under the scorching sun today
A six-year-old child is in life-threatening condition after being hit by water shooting from a cracked-open fire hydrant in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, broadcaster France-Info reported.
At least two deaths linked to the Saharan Bubble heatwave were reported in Spain and a further four in France.
After feeling dizzy while helping harvest wheat in the southern Andalusia region, a Spanish teenager collapsed with convulsions when he took a dip in a swimming pool to cool off.
The 17-year-old boy was rushed to hospital in the town of Cordoba where he later died, the regional government said.
The unnamed teenager, who was from the village of Castro del Rio in Cordoba province which is famed for its olive, died at 1.25am at Cordoba’s Reina Sofia Hospital.
The unnamed teenager, who was from the village of Castro del Rio in Cordoba province which is famed for its olive oil and furniture made from olive oil, died at 1.25am at Cordoba’s Reina Sofia Hospital (pictured)
The regional Junta de Andalucia government said it ‘regretted the youngster’s death and sent its condolences to his family and friends for their loss’ in a statement.
Elsewhere in Spain, a 93-year-old man collapsed and died on the street in the northern city of Valladolid, police said, giving heatstroke as the cause of death.
Heat-related deaths have also been reported in Italy and Germany, mainly among the elderly.
France remains haunted by the memory of the devastating heatwave of August 2003 which exposed the shortcomings of emergency services at the height of the summer holidays.
That year, nearly 15,000 people are estimated to have died because of the heat, many of them elderly people at home.
‘I want to appeal to the sense of responsibility of citizens – there are avoidable deaths in every heatwave,’ said French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
In Montpellier, 81-year-old Suzette Allegre was up early to do her shopping.
By 8.00am, ‘the sun is already burning hot and you can smell the pollution,’ she told AFP, saying she was rushing home to barricade herself indoors.
Scientists warn that global warming linked to human fossil fuel use could make such scorchers more frequent.
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn warned those tempted to plunge into cold water, both young and old, to do so only in designated public bathing areas, adding that four people had drowned since the beginning of the week.
On Thursday, Buzyn complained that despite a barrage of public health warnings on radio, TV and on public transport, some parents were still leaving their children in hot cars and joggers were out exercising in the midday heat.
Is Europe’s heatwave consistent with climate change?
This year is on track to be among the hottest ever and that would make 2015-2019 the world’s hottest five-year period on record, the World Meteorological Organization said on Friday.
It is too soon to definitely attribute Europe’s current blistering heatwave to climate change but it is ‘absolutely consistent’ with extremes linked to the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, the United Nations agency said.
‘Heatwaves will become more intense, they will become more drawn out, they will become more extreme, they will start earlier and they will finish later,’ WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis told a briefing in Geneva.
‘We are still only the end of June, but it seems like the earth is set to experience its five warmest years on record, so that is 2015 to 2019 inclusive,’ she said. From January to May, 2019 ranked as the third warmest year, she added.
G20 negotiators in Osaka, Japan are wrangling over the wording of a summit communique on fighting climate change, with the United States seeking to dilute the language against European opposition, according to sources and drafts of the text
Also Thursday, a six-year-old Syrian child was seriously injured in the Saint-Denis neighbourhood north of Paris after being catapulted into the air by water gushing from an open fire hydrant and then crashing to the ground.
In the Italian city of Milan, a 72-year-old homeless man was found dead at the main train station on Thursday after falling ill due to the heatwave.
A day earlier, at least four people died in Germany in bathing accidents.
In Spain, firefighters were continuing to battle a large forest fire in the northeastern Catalonia region.
Catalonia’s forest service said the fire likely began when an ‘improperly managed’ pile of manure at a chicken farm spontaneously combusted in the extreme heat.
Hundreds of firefighters backed by troops and aerial water bombers were trying to bring it under control.
They were hampered by roasting 111F (44C) temperatures and very low humidity according to David Borrell, head of the Catalan fire department.
Spain’s north-east was on red heatwave alert denoting ‘extreme risk’.
As many as 33 of the 50 Spanish provinces face extreme temperatures, which could reach 111F (44C) in Girona.
The stifling temperatures have caused air quality to nosedive in some European cities, prompting local authorities to take anti-pollution measures.
In Paris, Lyon and Marseille, authorities have banned the most polluting cars from the roads in recent days.
The news comes as Spain continues to battle fierce forest fires brought about by the extreme heat – with farm animals roasting alive.
Blazes have also broken out in Greece and Germany as Europe suffers through an ‘unprecedented’ spell of June heat.
On Wednesday Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic recorded their highest-ever June temperatures.
A major wildfire in northeastern Spain that began in a pile of chicken dung, raged out of control for a third straight day Friday.
More than 600 firefighters and six water-dropping aircraft were battling the blaze in the Catalonia region as Spain is forecast to endure the peak of a recent heatwave, with temperatures expected to exceed 104F (40C).
Helicopters drop water over a fire during a forest fire near Bovera, west of Tarragona, Spain. Officials said yesterday the blaze, fanned by hot winds, was ‘out of control’
Officials say cooler overnight temperatures allowed crews to slow the fire’s advance, but authorities say it is the region’s worst fire in two decades and 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of hilly terrain are at risk.
Fire investigators believe the blaze started with the spontaneous combustion of a pile of chicken manure on a livestock farm.
Chief Inspector Josep Antoni Mur told a news conference Thursday that the pile grew hotter as it fermented, and then flames were blown into the surrounding vegetation, private news agency Europa Press reported.
Miquel Buch, the regional interior minister, asked people to exercise extreme caution in forested areas.
A forest fire in Spain raged out of control on Thursday amid a Europe-wide heatwave, devouring land despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters who worked through the night, local authorities said
He says fire services are at full stretch ‘and we can’t allow another wildfire to break out.’
Authorities were caring Friday for more than 50 people evacuated from the previous day. They included locals as well as people from Britain, Belgium, Germany, Brazil and the United States, according to Europa Press.
Numerous local roads were closed.
Some 350 firefighters backed by around 230 soldiers and 15 aerial tanker aircraft were at the scene of the blaze on Thursday.
But officials have admitted the fire – fanned by strong winds and soaring temperatures – was ‘getting bigger’ and warned it could eventually destroy 20,000 hectares in what presented an ‘extreme risk.’
Hundreds of firefighters and soldiers battled a wind-fuelled forest fire in Spain amid a Europe-wide heatwave that has sent temperatures soaring to record highs in several countries
Flames rage close to a house amid a fierce forest fire ripping across La Torre de l’Espanyol in Tarragona, Spain yesterday
The blaze broke out on Wednesday afternoon in Torre del Espanol in the northeastern region of Catalonia and by Thursday it had destroyed more than 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres), the region’s interior minister Miquel Buch said
A fireman works on the extinguishing of a forest fire in Ziltendorf near Frankfurt an der Oder, northeastern Germany, close to the border with Poland. Wild fires have broken out amid stifling conditions in the country
A firefighter tries to extinguish a blaze near Flix as a forest fire raged out of control in the northeastern region of Catalonia yesterday
A burnt forest area in Tarragona, Catalonia, northeastern Spain. The fire started in the late evening in the area of Ribera d’Ebre and has burnt at least 4,000 hectares so far
‘The situation is critical,’ said fire service chief Antonio Ramos. ‘We haven’t seen a fire like this (in the region) in 20 years.’
Dozens have been evacuated, water-dropping aircraft were helping emergency crews on the ground and distressing images showed farm animals lying dead after being caught up in the blaze.
The region’s interior minister Miquel Buch said the fire may have been caused by ‘an accumulation of manure in a farm that generated enough heat to explode and generate sparks.’
The wildfires in Catalonia are among the worst it has seen in 20 years, the regional government said, adding that around 30 people had been evacuated from farmhouses in the affected area. Two horses are pictured dead after fires hit their farm
Distressing images show the bodies of a flock of sheep after their barn was hit by fierce forest fire in La Torre De L’Espanyol
A digger was destroyed as a fire ripped across a farm near the village of La Torre De L’Espanyol, in Tarragona, Catalonia
A farmer looks at burning trees near Flix. Pictures show how dozens of farmyard animals have been killed in wildfires
With temperatures expected to reach up to 108F (41C) on Friday, Spain has issued a ‘red level’ warning to its population.
Firefighters in Greece battled to contain a blaze near an arms factory just 30 miles from Athens with the fire having forced the evacuation of a small refugee camp.
Wildfires are common during Greece’s hot, arid summers and last year, 101 people died after a blaze swept through a seaside resort east of the capital.
Italy’s health ministry, meanwhile, has issued a maximum red alert for heat for six cities on Thursday and for 16 on Friday, Ansa reports. (Above, women drink water in front of the Duomo in central Milan on Wednesday)
As Germans attempted to cool off amid scorching temperatures, at least four people died in bathing accidents in different parts of the country on Wednesday.
Some areas of the country were experiencing water shortages and some residents in the North Rhine-Westphalia state were told to only use drinking water for vital purposes or face a 1,000- euro (£1,021) fine.
There has been no coordinated shutdown of schools but some have closed in parts of France, while others advised parents to keep children at home.
In Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Strasbourg, authorities have banned the most-polluting cars from the roads.
Residents of the French city of Grenoble were unable to use two municipal swimming pools despite the record temperatures, due to a row sparked by use of the full-body Islamic burkini swimsuit.
Lifeguards had asked for the shutdown after Muslim women clad in burkinis had gone to swim in defiance of a municipal ban.