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Paris parks stay open to cool off as France swelters in summer heatwave

In Paris40°C temperatures on Wednesday 1 July, the hottest recorded temperature since 1947.
In Paris40°C temperatures on Wednesday 1 July, the hottest recorded temperature since 1947. AFP

The heatwave continues in France with more power outages and train delays. Paris officials are hoping citizens can stay cool by hanging out in five major parks that will be kept open all night. Water consumption has increased and the Fire Department is requesting that people stop opening fire hydrants to play in the water.

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After Wednesday's record temperatures in Paris, the thermometer fell Thursday with 30°C in Paris, 33°C in Lyon and Bourges in the centre of the country, 35°C in Dijon in Burgundya and in Clermont-Ferrand and 36°C in the eastern towns of Nancy, Metz and Strasbourg.

It is expected to stay this hot throughout the weekend.

To keep citizens cool, five major Paris parks remained open Thursday night and were to be open Friday night as well.

It is important to give Parisans access to cool spaces during the heatwave, explained the Council of Paris ecologist who started this initative.

The parks that will remain open are: Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in the 19th arrondissement, Parc Clichy-Batignolles -Martin Luther King in the 17th arrondissement, Parc Montsouris in the 14th arrondissement, Parc Monceau in the eighth arrondissement and André Citroën Park in the 15th arrondissement.

Studies have shown that the vegetation helps to reduce temperatures 2-3 degrees.

Other effects of the heatwave have been:

  • Trains continue to be late as the electric system is unable to withstand these extreme temperatures.
  • Thousands have been without power due to the heatwave this week.; a broken transformer stripped 3,000 people in Corbas of their power and 150,000 people in the region of Le Havre.
  • Water consumption is up since the beginning of the heatwave - 15-20 per cent in the capital, according to water supply company Eau de Paris.
  • The Fire Department has closed 22 fire hydrants that people had opened to play in the cool water.
  • The Service Aide Medicale Urgence has received 10 per cent more calls from the 51 departments classified as being at orange levels of heat.

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