France recorded its all-time hottest temperature of 44.3 degrees Celsius on Friday. As the country and much of Europe basked in an early summer heatwave.
The temperature was recorded in the southeastern town of Carpentras. It beat the previous record for France of 44.1 degrees Celsius. Recorded in Saint-Christol-Les-Ales and Conqueyrac during the notorious August 2003 heatwave, Meteo-France told AFP.
Meteo-France forecaster Etienne Kapikian says it was “very probable” that the record would be beaten again Friday. As it was still relatively early in the day.
“The temperature will continue to climb and, in some places, we could pass 44 degrees Celsius.”
Schools in France are spraying children with water and nursing homes are equipping the elderly with hydration sensors as the country battles a record-setting heatwave baking much of Europe.
In Spain, a 17-year-old boy died from heatstroke in the early hours of Friday after becoming unwell while working in the countryside in the Córdoba province of Andalucía. He is reported to have had convulsions after jumping into a swimming pool to cool down. He died in hospital.
An 80-year-old man died on Thursday after collapsing from what is thought to have been heatstroke in the city of Valladolid. Two other people were being treated for heatstroke in Spanish hospitals.
Tourists and locals withstood lower but still sweltering temperatures of around 90 degrees. “It’s overwhelming,” said Cathy Taylor, 60, visiting Paris from Seattle for a wedding this weekend. “By late afternoon, I feel like I’m going to wilt and just fall over and die.”