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World|life|September 10, 2019 / 11:05 AM
Heatwaves in France caused an extra 1,500 deaths - officials say

AKIPRESS.COM - Two heatwaves that engulfed France over the summer led to an additional 1,500 deaths, the country's health minister has confirmed, Sky News reports.

Speaking to France Inter radio on Sunday, Agnes Buzyn said preventative measures meant there was a drastically lower number of deaths in comparison to a heatwave in 2003 that killed 15,000 people.

According to the health ministry, there were 1,465 more deaths than usual: 567 during the first heatwave in June, and 868 during the second heatwave in July.

The average number of deaths reported increased by 9.1% over the period, with more than half aged over 75. 

France experienced its hottest-ever day on record at the end of June, with temperatures reaching 46C (114.8F) in Verargues, a commune in the country's south.

A second heatwave hit in mid-July, which broke several regional records as temperatures surpassed 40C (104F).

Paris broke its all-time temperature record during this heatwave - recording 42.6C (108.68F).

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