August 3, 2006
Hottest July since 1950 claims 112 lives in France
PARIS (Reuters) - The French government said on Thursday 112 people had died due to the heat in the hottest July since 1950.
The toll was far lower than a killer heatwave three summers ago when thousands died.Most of the people who died this year were over the age of 75 and many of those were already ill, the Institute of Health Surveillance said.
Twelve people died at work, four died while doing sport, three more were homeless people and one baby died of hypothermia.
The death toll had previously been reported at 64.
Temperatures averaged 24 Celsius (75 Fahrenheit) across France in July but climbed to the mid-30s for several days.
"It was the hottest July in France since 1950," Meteo France, the country's weather agency said.
It said that this year's heatwave was not as long or as intense as the one in 2003, in which 15,000 people died prompting a bout of soul-searching over family ties and the plight of the elderly.
After the heatwave of 2003, France boosted measures to protect vulnerable groups, particularly the elderly, during unusually hot weather. This summer it issued advertisements advising the public to drink water and stay in cool places.