France sees up to 35,000 deaths from summer heat since 2014
Sante Publique France (SPF) finds that even though most of the deaths involved the elderly, "a significant proportion - one-third - were of people aged under 75."
In an estimate released by France's public health agency on Friday, between 30,000 and 35,000 people since 2014 died from the impacts of the extreme summer heat.
Sante Publique France (SPF) found that even though most of the deaths involved the elderly, "a significant proportion - one-third - were of people aged under 75."
In 2019 and 2022, France recorded the highest heatwaves as climate change is making the phenomenon more frequent. Just last year, SPF counted 3,000 excess deaths during three separate heatwaves.
"Exposure for the general population on hot days outside heatwaves... is often seen as presenting no health dangers, when in fact it is also associated with increased risk of death," the officials stated.
Taking such fatalities into account, the figure for summer heat deaths was between 29,612 and 34,975 in the period between 2014 and 2022 -- three times higher than the number for heatwaves alone over the same period.
Last summer, Europe experienced the hottest summer ever in its history. In July, authorities reported that over 1,100 people were killed in a heatwave in Spain and Portugal.
Livelihoods have also been affected; crops and forests have either withered or been burnt to the ground, with wildfires and droughts affecting growth and sustainability. Wildfires that stretched from the Caucasus Mountains to the Atlantic coast have ripped through 50% more land than the previous record, in 2017.
One city in southwest France, Gironde, evacuated more than 16,000 residents due to the ravaging wildfires that devoured over 13,000 hectares of vegetation in the Bordeaux region in six days.