Connect with us

News

Firefighters battle wildfires in France after temperatures hit 45.9C

Hundreds of firefighters and 10 aircraft have been battling to contain wildfires in southern France after a stifling heatwave brought record-breaking temperatures of 45.9C (114F).

Dozens of fires have burned more than 600 hectares (about 1,500 acres) of land in the Gard region – destroying several houses and vehicles.

Sections of motorways have been temporarily closed and several firefighters were hurt, none of them seriously.

Advertisement

Firefighters extinguish a fire around Saint Gilles in the south of France
Image: Firefighters extinguish a fire around Saint Gilles in the south of France

According to local reports, a man has been arrested on suspicion of deliberately starting fires in one village.

Forecasters said the extreme heat was due to ease today in southern France, but temperatures were still expected to reach almost 40C (104F).

More from World

  • Vladimir Putin tells Elton John he is 'mistaken' over Russian LGBT rights

  • Trump says the US is not 'being taken for suckers anymore' at G20 summit

  • Theresa May urges world leaders to tackle climate crisis – but US refuses

  • Migrant rescue ship captain arrested after stand-off with Italy ends

  • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ends hunger strike after 15 days

  • Ancient palace emerges from Iraqi reservoir after water levels fall

Over 700 firefighters and 10 aircraft were deployed on Saturday to tackle wildfires in southern France
Image: Over 700 firefighters and 10 aircraft were deployed on Saturday to tackle wildfires in southern France

Further north, Paris was due to have its hottest day of the heatwave so far, with highs of 37C (98.6F) predicted.

Authorities in the French capital imposed a ban on driving older cars in the city to prevent heatwave-related pollution.

People try to keep cool in the Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Image: People try to keep cool in the Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Heat has been blamed for the deaths of two people in Spain, four in France and three in Italy. In the UK, a 12-year-old girl drowned in a river near Manchester.

Reports suggest hospitals in Milan have seen a 35% increase in emergency admissions.

Demand for power in the city surged as people cranked up air conditioning, which caused sporadic blackouts in shops and restaurants.

Fourth day of scorching temperatures in Spain

In Spain, 40 of its 50 regions are on weather alert, with seven considered to be at extreme risk, the national meteorological agency said.

Unusually high temperatures of above 43C (109.4F) were forecast in Spain for a fourth consecutive day.

In the Catalan city of Girona, it recorded its highest-ever temperature on record on Friday at 43.9C (111F).

The country has also battled wildfires, with firefighters managing to contain 90% that raged across 60 sq km (23 sq m) of land in the northeastern province of Tarragona.

Two other fires in the Toledo region are still burning.

Two wildfires are said to still be burning in the Toledo region in central Spain
Image: Two wildfires are said to still be burning in the Toledo region in central Spain

The extreme heat has now reached the UK, which recorded its own hottest day of the year so far on Saturday.

Temperatures in west London hit 33C (91.4F) on Saturday afternoon, with 35C (95F) expected for some parts of the country.

The record for the hottest June day stands at 35.6C (96F).

This week, the World Meteorological Organisation said 2019 was on track to be among the world's hottest years, and that 2015-2019 would then be the hottest five-year period on record.

It claimed the European heatwave was "absolutely consistent" with extremes linked to the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

Temperatures are forecast to ease in the coming days, but it will remain hot.

Continue Reading




Subscribe

Trending