Europe baked in near-record temperatures on Monday but hopes were for some respite after weeks of non-stop sunshine as people come to terms with what may prove to be the new normal in climate change Europe.
Temperatures were expected to peak in southern France on Monday and further north on Tuesday. On Saturday, they hit their highest levels since a deadly 2003 heatwave killed thousands of mainly elderly people.
Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said people had to take proper care to cope with the heat and warned that everyone had to adapt.
“You need to drink a lot, but also to eat and take salt,” Buzyn said.
“We are probably going to adapt our warnings in the coming years, because this is something we haven’t been seeing until now.”
Several cities imposed traffic restrictions and cut speed limits to try to reduce ozone pollution aggravated by the heat, with Paris also offering free parking and cheaper daily metro and bus passes to discourage driving.
The heat wave could be among the “top three” on record for France, the national weather service said.
The current forecast is for a cooler end to the week with temperatures in the mid-20s.