For the first time in recording on Friday, the temperature in France exceeded 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) as Europe swelled in an early summer heatwave that caused several fatalities.
With the elevated temperatures especially hitting France, Spain, Italy, and parts of Central Europe, authorities pleaded with individuals to take common-sense precautions.
According to Meteo-France, France’s latest record temperature of 45.1 degrees Celsius was recorded in Villevieille, a village in the southern department of Gard close Montpellier, the same region where a prior high of 44.1 degrees Celsius was set in August 2003. At the turn of the 20th century, records started.
The state forecaster said on Friday, as it was still fairly early in the day, it was probably to beat the record again.
Earlier in the southeastern city of Carpentras, the mercury rose above 44 degrees C. The city was deserted, with café owners looking at vacant terraces that would usually be packed.
“We never saw that!” One shrieked.
The fresh record makes France the seventh European nation to record a temperature plus 45 degrees Celsius, along with Bulgaria, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece, and North Macedonia, said Meteo France.
Also in Spain, the heatwave is felt, killing several people, including a 17-year-old farmer.
The Spanish teenager in the southern Andalusia region felt dizzy while helping to harvest wheat.
He collapsed with convulsions after a dip in a swimming pool to cool off and was rushed to hospital in the city of Córdoba where he died later, the regional government said.
A 93-year-old person collapsed elsewhere in Spain and died on the road in Valladolid’s southern town, police said, giving heatstroke as the cause of death.
In Italy, France and Germany, primarily among the elderly, heat-related fatalities were also recorded.