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FRANCE

Heatwave to sweep France this week

People cool off during the first heatwave of the summer near Barcelona, Spain, 28 June 2015.
People cool off during the first heatwave of the summer near Barcelona, Spain, 28 June 2015. Reuters/Albert Gea

A powerfull heatwave is forecast to sweep France this week and temperatures could reach 40 degrees Celsius or more by the middle of the week.

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“The heatwave could be the biggest for this time of the year in more than 60 years,” said France weather forecasting Météo France.

Minimum and maximum temperatures will be very high, sometimes reaching records in southwestern regions of France until next week.

The heat started to build across Iberia over the weekend and will spread northwards across France early this week.

Temperatures on Monday are 5 to 6 above normal but on Tuesday temperatures could rise to 35°C or more in Paris, 38°C in Lyon (in the center-east of France), 39°C in the south and up to 40°C in the southwest.

The heatwave is forecast to last until next weekend and has already prompted concerns about increased pollution risks and strains on healthcare.

The French health ministry has also warned of the risks of dehydration and heat strokes.

In 2003, a heatwave in France led to 20,000 deaths above the normal rate, mainly among elderly people.

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