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France roasts in record heatwave

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 28, 2019 - Duration: 01:30s

France roasts in record heatwave

France registered its highest temperature since records began on Friday as the death toll rose from a heatwave suffocating much of Europe.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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France roasts in record heatwave

These classrooms in the southern French town of Nimes should be filled with students.

Instead they're deserted, as a heatwave grips the country.

France registered its highest temperature since records began on Friday.

With the mercury hitting 45.1 degrees Celsius (113.2 Fahrenheit) in the Provence region.

Four administrative regions in the south have been issued with an unprecedented red weather-warning, leading to up to 4,000 school closures.

Further north in Paris, it's a different story, with tourists lining the Seine and exercisers continuing to pound the pavement and take to their bikes.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) LAWYER MICHEL GODEST SAYING "I wouldn't run a marathon today but cycling for a quarter of an hour or half an hour is bearable, we shouldn't get carried away.

There's loads of hype, you'd think it's the end of the world, the apocalypse.

Yes it's hot, OK, but let's not go mad." The French health minister warned that even healthy people should be cautious about doing exercise given the high temperatures across the country.

Families with elderly relatives who were ill or living alone were advised to call or visit them twice a day and take them to cool places.

Several French cities restricted traffic as the stifling heat worsened air pollution.

The World Meteorological Organization says the European heatwave was "absolutely consistent" with extremes linked to the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

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