No one is sheltered any longer: the peak of this 45th heat wave recorded in France since 1947 affects the western facade, from Landes and Gers to Finistère.
The proliferation of extreme weather events is a direct consequence of global warming according to scientists, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.
At the tip of Brittany, the historic temperature record was beaten at the start of the afternoon in Brest with 35.8°C, compared to 35.2°C recorded in the city in 1949. As a result, the tramway had to to be arrested.
The mercury rose around 3 p.m. to 40.5°C in Nantes or 41.7°C in Biscarosse. In the middle of the afternoon, “the maximum temperatures have not yet been reached”, notes Météo-France.
In Gironde, the two gigantic fires have already burned 14,000 hectares of vegetation. The prefecture announced the preventive evacuation of 8,000 people in Teste-de-Buch, a city in the Arcachon basin affected by a huge fire for several days.
“La Teste is not threatened by the flames. On the other hand, the wind is turning, the neighborhoods are really ending up in smoke,” a spokesman for the fire department told AFP. Gironde.
– Wind gusts –
The zoo in the Arcachon basin, in La Teste-de-Buch, will evacuate more than a thousand animals due to the smoke.
Near the other large fire, located further east inland, south of Bordeaux, 3,500 people were also being evacuated from their homes at midday.
Strong gusts of wind will follow the heat wave, Météo-France warned on Twitter: “After a scorching day, sudden change in conditions expected on the Aquitaine coast: drop in mercury from 15 to 20° and gusts of westerly wind at 60 to 70 km/h. Sudden phenomenon spreading from the Basque coast to the Arcachon basin between 6 and 9 p.m.
Paris has launched its “level 3” heat wave plan: 10,5000 vulnerable people are contacted by telephone, refreshed rooms are open to the public, marauding is reinforced to help people on the street.
The heat wave is particularly difficult in a prison environment. At the prison of Perpignan, the guards do not always manage to apply the instructions, according to Pierre Grousset, local secretary Ufap-Unsa Justice.
“We have 9 m2 cells where three prisoners are crammed together, without a shower. Normally, three showers a week are planned in collective spaces. Currently, more are needed. But it is not always possible” because that the supervisors are not numerous enough, regrets Mr. Grousset.
The agricultural world is also suffering. In the middle of the harvest, crop fires, caused by the friction of the blades of combine harvesters, broke out as far as northern France.
The red alert was maintained Monday at 4 p.m. for the following departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Côtes-d’Armor, Dordogne, Finistère, Gers, Gironde, Ille-et-Vilaine, Landes, Loire-Atlantique, Lot-et -Garonne, Maine-et-Loire, Morbihan, Deux-Sèvres and Vendée.
“This Monday marks the culmination of this heatwave episode on the western side of the country with a peak of extreme heat”, notes Météo-France. “In Brittany, this level of heat is therefore quite exceptional.”
Météo-France has extended the orange vigilance (which means “be very vigilant”) to new departments, bringing the total to 69.
– The heat shifts to the East –
The temperatures will drop on Tuesday and “heat wave red vigilance” should be lifted on the vigilance map for Tuesday morning at 6 a.m.”, indicates Météo-France, while the high temperatures will shift “over the eastern half of France” with temperatures between 37 and 40°C.
Météo-France also warns of the risk of thunderstorms in the southern Alps.
This heat wave affects all of Western Europe, also causing forest fires in Spain or Portugal. About half of the territory of the European Union is currently facing a risk of drought, the European Commission announced on Monday.