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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Irish holidaymakers warned to take care as Europe set to bake in 40+ degree heatwave

Authorities in France, the Netherlands and the UK have issued warnings about the heat.

A woman and her dog cool down in Nice, southern France, as the temperatures soar.
A woman and her dog cool down in Nice, southern France, as the temperatures soar.
Image: Syspeo Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

IRISH PEOPLE TRAVELLING to western Europe have been warned to avoid direct sunlight during the hottest periods of the day, as parts of the continent are set to sizzle in record-breaking temperatures of 40 degrees and higher. 

France is bracing for the heatwave by temporarily shutting down a power station and having additional foot baths and extra water points to prevent participants in the Tour de France cycling race becoming dehydrated. 

The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are set to bake in similar temperatures of 40 degrees on Thursday, with the hottest temperature ever recorded in Paris of 40.4 degrees in 1947 set to be eclipsed.

Authorities around Europe also issued health warnings, encouraging older or vulnerable people to be particularly vigilant.

In Britain – where temperatures could exceed the all-time record of 38.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday – asthma sufferers were warned of a “toxic cocktail” of hot, humid weather and rising pollution levels.

This “could be extremely hazardous for the 5.4 million people in the UK with asthma, triggering deadly asthma attacks,” said Andy Whittamore, clinical leader at charity Asthma UK.

In the Netherlands – where most of the country was hit by a “code orange” alert today – the government activated its “national heat plan”, issuing advice for hospitals, retirement homes and even obese people.

Animals were also a cause for concern. In France, the government banned animal transportation “for economic reasons” between 1.00 pm and 6.00 pm in areas affected by “orange” and “red” heat alerts.

Paris and the eastern city of Lyon have also banned more heavily polluting vehicles from the city centre in a bid to keep the air clean.

With these warnings in mind, the Irish Travel Agents Association has said Irish holidaymakers should take care if visiting these countries in the coming days.

Its CEO Pat Dawson said: “Our members are advising holidaymakers staying in affected areas to stay hydrated throughout their stay and to avoid direct sunlight during the hottest periods of the day. 

We are encouraging all travellers to follow the advice of the local authorities which are implementing measures to tackle the extreme heat.

The latest heatwave in Europe follows an “unprecedented” heatwave that took place just last month

With reporting from AFP

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Sean Murray

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