Nine French departments on orange heatwave alert

Nine departments are on heatwave warning as temperatures continue to climb across the country

Nine departments in the north of France are still on “orange” heatwave warning from forecaster Météo France, as Paris and the Nord swelter in temperatures of up to 37°C.

“Orange” is the second-most severe warning level, just below “red”. Temperatures this morning (Wednesday July 25) in the areas concerned are expected to reach between 32-34°C, soaring to 34-37°C at its peak this afternoon.

Similarly, nighttimes are expected to feel very hot, and high temperatures are expected to last until the end of the week.

Cars and vehicles deemed to be especially polluting are still banned from Paris at this time (those with ratings of 4 or 5 on Crit-Air, or those registered before 1997), due to the heat exacerbating pollution.

Météo France has said that the weekend will bring slightly cooler temperatures, as rain and storms hit at the end of Friday, dropping the heat significantly.

The departments affected are Nord (59), Paris and surroundings (75-92-93-94), Seine-et-Marne (77), Yvelines (78), Essonne (91) and Val-d'Oise (95).

Across the country - including those in the less-severe “yellow” warning - the peak of the heat is expected on Friday, but the mercury will not reach as high in these areas.

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The forecaster warned that an “orange” alert means that everyone is at risk from excess heat, even people in good health.

Older people, those with chronic conditions, mental health problems, isolated individuals, young children and pregnant women may be at even higher risk of heat stroke and other issues, as are those who work outside, who regularly play sports or undertake other strenuous physical activity.

The symptoms of heat stroke can include a high fever; hot, red and dry skin; headache; nausea; intense thirst; fatigue; confusion and even loss of consciousness.

To avoid this, Météo France advises the use of air conditioning if possible, and recommends people to keep curtains and shutters closed at the peak of the heat, and open windows at night.

Everyone is advised to drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day, and much more if you are active, and to avoid the sun in the afternoon.

Some people may benefit from moistening their skin several times a day, and spending time in a cool room at least twice a day.

Anyone with relatives or friends who could be at particular risk is invited to visit them to ensure they are cool and hydrated.

Your local Mairie may be able to help provide a cool space for older and vulnerable people to use, but if you suspect any heat stroke symptoms, you are advised to call your doctor.

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