France’s health minister says only about 4 percent of the visits to hospital emergency rooms across the country are linked to the current heat wave, which the government considers a relatively low level.
Minister Agnes Buzyn, visiting the Necker pediatric hospital in Paris on Sunday, said 18 out of 650 emergency services in France were considered “under tension” due to more patients and a lack of staff, especially in the northeast, where this week’s high temperatures are more unusual.
She says “I think that our society is starting adapting to the heat wave.”
But Buzyn warned against carrying small babies in wrap carriers — which tends to keep them warm— and to watch out so that children under six don’t drown in private swimming pools.
The heat mwave in France is expected to last until Thursday, with temperatures peaking on Tuesday. Four nuclear reactors have already been temporarily closed in France due to the high heat.
Lisbon has broken a 37-year-old record to notch its hottest temperature ever as an unrelenting wave of heat bakes Portugal and neighboring Spain.
Portugal’s weather service said the capital reached 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday, surpassing the city’s previous record of 43 C (109.4 F) set in 1981.
The day’s hottest temperature of 46.8 C (116.2 F) was recorded at Alvega in the center of Portugal. The country’s highest temperature on record is 47.4 C (117.3 F) from 2003.
The hot, dusty conditions across the Iberian Peninsula are the result of a mass of hot air from Africa.
Sunday’s forecast calls for temperatures to dip slightly while remaining extremely high.