Paris: Authorities trigger emergency heatwave plan as capital continues to sizzle

Paris: Authorities trigger emergency heatwave plan as capital continues to sizzle
Photo: AFP
Level three of France's heatwave plan has been triggered for Paris as temperatures in the French capital are expected to reach a 36C this week.
The plan contains four levels: green, yellow, orange and red. 
Paris is currently on orange or level three, triggered when an alert has been issued by the health authorities after an evaluation by national weather agency Meteo France and health watchdog institute, Institut de Veille Sanitaire (INVS), as a result of a heatwave that is expected to last until Thursday. 
The plan is intended as a way of informing people to take action to protect the groups most vulnerable in the hot weather, which has seen Paris and the south west on orange heatwave alert for the past few days.
These groups include the elderly or disabled members of the population, as well as people who work outside. 

People sunbathing near the Trocadero fountain in Paris during the current heatwave. Photo: AFP 
“Preventing risk is everybody's business,” the representative in charge of the elderly at the Paris townhall, Dominique Versini, said. “I am asking Parisians to go to their vulnerable neigbours and remind them of the measures that they should be taking during hot temperatures.”
Vulnerable people registered on the city’s “Chalex” file will be contacted by telephone to find out how they are and remind them of precautionary measures to combat the heat.
Social workers and voluntary doctors will also be on hand to help those who need it and refreshment rooms will be opened in public places such as district halls.
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French authorities take heatwaves extremely seriously, and it's little wonder. Back in August 2003, a heatwave killed 15,000 mostly elderly people across the country. 
Most of France is sizzling under scorching temperatures at the moment, with 51 departments now on heatwave alert, including the entire greater Paris region of Ile-de-France.  
The warnings come soon after meteorologists at Météo France predicted that the month of June could be one of the top three hottest on record.

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