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52 French departments are now on orange alert for storms and heatwave

Météo France have issued an orange heatwave alert for 31 departments and 33 for storms

42,9°C was record yesterday (June 18) in Biarritz (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) Pic: Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock

This morning (Sunday, June 19) Météo France issued another warning for the "early and intense heatwave episode [that] is underway over much of the eastern part of the country" and it is also predicting strong storms this evening.

Read more: Explainer: France’s ‘heatwave plan’ and how it may affect residents

Yesterday, 11 departments were on red alert and 58 on orange alert.

Read more: Heatwave in France: 11 departments on red alert as temperatures peak

31 departments are now under orange alert for heatwaves: Ain, Allier, Ardèche, Aube, Cantal, Cher, Côte-d'Or, Doubs, Drôme, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Isère, Jura, Loir-et-Cher, Loire, Haute-Loire, Loiret, Haute-Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Nièvre , Puy-de-Dôme, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Rhône, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Vosges, Yonne and the Territoire de Belfort.

Equally, 33 departments have been placed under storm alerts: Ardennes, Aube, Charente, Cher, Corrèze, Creuse, Dordogne, Eure-et-Loir, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Marne, Haute-Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Nièvre, Sarthe, Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Tarn-et-Garonne, Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Yonne, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise.

Record temperatures, power cuts and fainting

Temperatures higher than 40°C were recorded yesterday and many heat records were beaten in West France. Météo France noted "peaks close to 42-43°C" in the Southwest with 42,9°C in Biarritz (Nouvelle-Aquitaine).

Read more: Heatwave in France: Ten places where records for June have been beaten

The heatwave also caused a power failure this morning in Saône-et-Loire. The failure, linked to the high temperatures, affected around 50,000 people in Saône-et-Loire for two and a half hours, especially those in the municipalities of Le Creusot, Montchanin, Autun, Etang-sur-Arroux and Saint-Gengoux-le-National. RTE and Enedis worked to restore the situation to normal around 6:30 am.

In Clisson (Loire-Atlantique) nearly 180,000 people are attending the Hellfest festival, one of the largest metal music festivals in France.

The organisers of the festival, which is running from last Friday (June 17) until June 26, have set up huge water walls and giant ‘misters’ to help counter the effect of the heatwave. In spite of these measures first-aid workers have already assisted more than 800 people reported to have fainted due to the heat, according to France Bleu.

How to keep cool during a heatwave? 

France’s national health agency, Santé publique France, offers the following advice to people to help manage heatwaves. 

  • Stay out of the sun
  • Drink water
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat sufficient amounts of food to maintain energy levels
  • Close windows and shutters during the day, aerate rooms during the night
  • Spray yourself with water to keep cool
  • Keep in touch with friends and family, especially those who are vulnerable
  • Consider doing low-energy activities during peak heatwave hours (10-18:00)

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