Paris on alert as heatwave hits France

France was hit by a heatwave Monday that could last for several days and smash temperature records for June. Authorities in Paris have rolled out emergency measures to help people cope with the extreme temperatures.

"It will be very hot during the day, there will not really be any coolness at night and we will have very high temperatures almost never seen before in fact probably in June in France,” said François Gourand, Forecaster at Météo France.

With the thermometer set to rise close to, or even above, 40°C in the French capital, authorities fear a repeat of the 2003 heatwave – the most severe in modern times in France and one which is thought to have caused the death of close to 15,000 people.

To help avoid that scenario reoccurring, the Paris mayor’s office has installed more than 1,000 new drinking fountains across the city and is working with charities to hand out bottles of water to the French capital’s homeless population.

Swimming pools and parks will be open late to allow people to cool off, while a number of “cool rooms” in public buildings will be open during the hottest hours of the afternoon.

The city’s retirement homes and hospitals have also been put on alert as officials seek to protect the most vulnerable from the extreme weather.

During the 2003 heatwave, temperatures hit a record high in Paris of 40.4°C in Paris. Forecasters say that record could be topped this week, while temperatures are unlikely to fall below 20°C even at night.