- Countries in Western Europe are grappling with an impending heat wave this week.
- Temperatures are set to soar as high as 45 degrees Celsius, or 113 Fahrenheit, from Wednesday.
- Residents and tourists are trying to cool off by bathing in public fountains and lying by river banks. One man in Germany stripped off in a supermarket and ran through the frozen aisle.
- Animals are also trying to cool down by licking iced lollies and dousing themselves with water.
- Three people in France have died as a result of the rising temperatures already.
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Temperatures in Europe are soaring dramatically this week as forecasters predict highs of up to 45 degrees Celsius, or 113 Fahrenheit, this week.
France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, and Poland are gearing up for a massive heat wave from Wednesday, and it’s not clear when it will end.
The last comparable heat wave in Europe came in August 2003, when temperatures in southern France hit has high as 44.1 C (111.4 F).
France saw 15,000 more deaths than usual that summer. Across the continent, some 70,000 people died prematurely as a result of the heat wave, according to The Guardian.
As of Wednesday, three people in southern France have already died of shock after plunging into cold water to escape the heat.
People — and animals — across continental Europe are bathing in fountains, canceling exams, and, in one case, ran naked through a supermarket frozen aisle to cool down. Scroll down to learn more.
France is already heating up, with southern France expecting temperatures as high as 45 C (113 F) on Friday. The government is encouraging people to cool off in the water several times a day.
French hospitals and ambulances are expecting a spike in calls. "Nobody is a superman when it comes to dealing with the extreme heat," health minister Agnès Buzyn told reporters Monday, according to The Local.
"I’m worried about people who are downplaying this, who are continuing to exercise as usual or stay out in the sun," Buzyn said, according to The Local.
"This affects all of us, nobody is a superman when it comes to dealing with the extreme heat we’re going to see on Thursday and Friday."
French authorities delayed the national brevet exams for 15-year-olds, which were to take place on Thursday and Friday, saying it was "unthinkable" to make them sit the tests in the heat.
Reuters/Marcelo Del Pozo
"It is unthinkable to have the students sit their exams in hot rooms for multiple hours," French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on Monday.
The French middle-schoolers will take the exam on July 1 and 2 instead, he said.
But the same exams, scheduled this week for students in the overseas French regions of French Guiana, Guadelupe, and Martinique, will go ahead as planned.
- ‘Hell is coming’: Western Europe braces for its hottest weather since a 2003 heat wave killed 15,000 people in France
- Paris opened extra swimming pools, set up mist machines, and postponed thousands of school exams ahead of a killer heat wave looming over Europe
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