Heatwave: The Orange Alert Extended to 66 Departments

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Meteo France has extended the Orange Alert to 66 departments of France

Last night, Meteo France has widened the heatwave alert to 66 departments. Only Brittany and the Channel coast are not concerned.

The heatwave was settled across France on Thursday, and almost all the country is on alert. In its 4pm  bulletin of Thursday, Meteo France has placed 66 departments in orange vigilance. 

Two-thirds of the departments of France were placed on orange alert on Thursday while the heat wave extends to the west, the center and the north of the country, said Meteo France.

In total, 66 departments are affected by this alert, according to the Meteo France bulletin. A fringe of the country remains spared in the north, as well as on the coast of the Channel, part of the Atlantic coast and some departments in mountain areas.

The Loire-Atlantique, Brittany, Normandy, Somme, Pas-de-Calais and the North are the only territories not to be concerned. 

38.3 ° C in Aix

Météo France has recorded a minimum temperature of Wednesday night: 19 ° C in Strasbourg, 21.1 ° C in Lyon, 23.3 ° C in Marignane, 26 ° C in Antibes. “At 3pm, there is already: 38.3 ° C in Aix, 37 ° C in Prades-Le-Lez, 34 ° C in Chambéry and Montelimar, and 33 ° C in Grenoble. ”

The phenomenon should last all weekend, and the thermometer could exceed 40 degrees in places in the south.

” This is a remarkable, intense and long-lasting heatwave , particularly in the South-East,” said Olivier Proust, a forecaster at Meteo France interviewed by AFP. “We must go back to 2006 to find a more intense heat wave” across the country.

Orange alert for heatwave across 66 departmens of France
Orange alert for heatwave across 66 departmens of France

Saturation of emergencies

If the health minister Agnès Buzyn ensures that the country is “much better armed” than in 2003, year when the heatwave had caused an estimated mortality excess of 15 000 people, Patrick Pelloux, president of the association of the emergency France, sounded the alarm on Thursday.

“There is already a saturation of the emergency services. With the heat wave that will last, you will see more and more people, the most vulnerable – the most affected are the homeless – and we will be in an over-saturation, “said RMC / BFMTV the emergency physician, who was one of the first to launch the alert in 2003.

“We suffocate, we have nowhere to hide,” said Jose, 42, homeless in Montpellier, who struggled to walk, legs and feet “swollen by the heat.”



“We did not have this type of unbearable heat before,” lamented Mireille Sanari, busy closing the shutters of his home in the center of Montpellier from 9:30. “We are forced to live like moles,” sighed the 78-year-old, who lives alone and is “afraid of causing discomfort.”

In Perpignan, the town hall opened to the public air-conditioned rooms. Saint-Cyprien, a popular seaside resort in the Pyrénées-Orientales, has also opened six air-conditioned premises. In Lyon, seven “refreshed libraries” can serve as a refuge.

In Savoie, associations of fishermen and nautical leisure providers have stopped since Wednesday any activity on the Guiers, in the hope of lowering the temperature of the water of the river. “We noticed last summer that the heat wave had an influence on the survival of the fish. At 25 degrees, they all die and Wednesday night, the water was 23.6 degrees, “said David Maillard, the president of the Guiers Fishing Association and the Third.

Drought and pollution

In Paris, the prefecture activated level 3 of the heat wave plan as early as Thursday morning, without waiting for the triggering of the orange vigilance. The city had to open five additional parks all night to allow Parisians to cool off.

On this crossover week-end, Minister Agnès Buzyn called for “driving earlier in the morning or late at night, avoiding periods of extreme heat, protecting children (and) taking enough water in your cars “.

Corollary of heat and road traffic, an episode of pollution with ozone is expected Friday in Île-de-France. Motorists in the Paris region will have to reduce their speed by 20 km/hour, while heavy goods vehicles in transit will have to bypass the Paris agglomeration.

Haute-Savoie, Isère and Bouches-du-Rhone were on Thursday afternoon in orange vigilance, according to the Central Laboratory of Air Quality. The information threshold is already exceeded in part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, in the Var and in the Bouches-du-Rhône.

Thirty-nine departments have also introduced water restriction measures, the situation being particularly tense in Vendée.

EDF stopped a nuclear reactor and reduced the power of two others Thursday morning, along the Rhone, because of the heat wave.

“A slight dip is expected for this weekend on the North, before a rise in temperatures earlier this week” which should continue until Wednesday, said the forecaster Olivier Proust.

Heatwave temperatures in Marseille
In Marseille, the thermometers display 35 degrees on August 2, 2018. (© AFP / Boris HORVAT)

Heatwave: The Orange Alert Extended to 66 Departments 1

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