Last week, 14 French departments were placed on heat wave orange alert by Météo France and 48 other departments on yellow vigilance. This episode of high heat lasted all week, causing the emergency services to sweat once again.
Seniors among the most affected
The public health agency notes all the same that half of these passages concerned seniors (over 75 years old), more vulnerable to heat waves. By way of comparison, children under 15 made up only 83 (or 9%) of the 562 visits.
SOS Médecins also reports a “particularly high” proportion of seniors among the 302 consultations carried out by their teams during the weekend.
In mainland France, the departments placed in orange vigilance thus represented 65% of the total of emergency visits on Friday, and 54% on Saturday.
Record maximum temperatures for late August
On a national scale, the peak of intensity was reached during this heatwave episode, on August 27, with an average temperature of 25.6°C. As such, it is the second hottest day ever recorded since 1947 during the last decade of August, just behind the 25.9°C of August 21, 2011. Comparatively, during the 2003 episode , the hottest temperature recorded reached 29.4°C in average temperature and 37.7°C in maximum temperature.
“This heat wave is remarkable for the long series of very hot days observed” notes Météo-France. “These series of very hot days are all the more remarkable as they occurred very late in the summer season”.
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