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Update: 21 French departments on orange alert for heatwave and storms

Ten departments in the West are affected by storm alerts and 11 departments in the Centre-East by the heatwave

Despite falling temperatures, heatwave alerts are still present in 11 French departments Pic: Kittyfly / Shutterstock

Despite falling temperatures, Météo France has today (20 June) placed 21 departments under orange vigilance for the risk of thunderstorms and heatwaves, compared to 52 yesterday.

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

11 departments in Centre-East France remain on heatwave alert: Jura, Saône-et-Loire, Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal, Haute-Loire, Loire, Rhône, Ain, Isère, Drôme. "Temperatures this afternoon will still be close to 35 degrees," warns Météo France. 

As for thunderstorms, 10 departments have been placed under orange vigilance: Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne, Gers, Tarn-et-Garonne, Lot, Dordogne, Corrèze, Creuse, Haute-Vienne and Charente.

In the West of the country, temperatures will continue to fall throughout the day, Météo France said.

What does an orange heatwave alert mean?

Once this level is reached, the department's local prefect takes all necessary measures to address the heatwave, in accordance with the Plan de Gestion d’une Canicule Départemental (PGCD). The following steps are usually taken:

  1. Communication is increased to make people aware of the dangers of heatwaves and what they can do
  2. In retirement homes, a “plan bleu” can be announced, which involves greater mobilisation of staff and resources to counter specific threats generally, for example Covid or an outbreak of flu, as well as heatwaves / other scenarios
  3. Ambulance and nursing services are mobilised
  4. Mairies establish lists of people vulnerable to heatwaves and can offer support
  5. Additional support is given to homeless people

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

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