The Trocadero fountains in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris turned into a swimming pool on Tuesday as tourists and Parisians alike sought respite from the scorching heat that has hit France and several other parts of Europe.
Temperatures were expected to hit 106 degrees Fahrenheit in the French capital on Tuesday, according to weather service Météo France.
“Abnormally hot is the right word,” said tourist Médéric Deleglise, from Montpellier in southern France where high temperatures are generally more common. He joined dozens of people seated near the fountains to be sprayed with water.
“The temperature there (in Montpellier) is about the same. But in fact it’s more pleasant in the south than here. It’s really like an oven here,” he added.
The city of Paris is keeping several parks open all night and has opened cold rooms in town halls to accommodate vulnerable residents. People are also encouraged to hydrate themselves, from one of the hundreds of water fountains across Paris.
The burning episode also takes place elsewhere in Europe. Britain is expected to see temperatures hit 104 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time on Tuesday after recording its hottest night on record.
As the heat wave that swept across southern Europe last week moved north, southern and western Germany and Belgium also braced for potentially record-breaking temperatures. , with many scientists pointing the finger at climate change.
A study published by climatologists in June in the journal “Environmental Research: Climate” concluded that it was highly likely that climate change would worsen heat waves.
“Considering that July started off so hot, with climate change and all the changes that could bring, actually, it’s a bit scary,” said Parisian medical assistant Zahira Rachdi.
The heat wave is expected to peak on Tuesday, but temperatures could remain above normal until the middle of next week, the World Meteorological Organization said, warning that such events could occur more frequently in the future.