France Experiences All-time Record Temperature of 45.9C

France has hit its highest recorded temperature, 45.9C (114.6F), as a heatwave sweeps through mainland Europe, claiming several lives.

The new record was measured in the southern village of Gallargues-le-Montueux. Before this year the previous record was 44.1C during a heatwave in 2003 that killed thousands.

Health Minister Agnès Buzyn warned that “everyone is at risk”, while the country’s weather service issued an unprecedented red alert for four areas.

Those are all in the south, but most of the country remains on orange alert, the second-highest level.

Meteorologists say hot air drawn in from northern Africa is responsible, caused by high pressure over central Europe and a storm stalling over the Atlantic.

In Gallargues-le-Montueux, Mayor Freddy Cerda said the record was something the village had to “put up with”.

“We have to put up with this climate, and that’s what the future holds for us, don’t forget. The south of France is going to become tropical,” he said.

Hundreds of schools were closed on Friday and water restrictions were in place.

The French weather service said temperatures of between 37C and 41C were expected across most of France on Saturday.

Swaths of the continent are experiencing extreme heat. Germany, France, Poland and the Czech Republic have all recorded their highest-ever June temperatures.

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