Parts of Europe are entering their third week of soaring temperatures, with no sign of a cool down. In France, the government has urged medical students and retired doctors to help out in hospitals. The excessive heat has now claimed the lives of around 30 people in France and officials are eager to avoid a repeat of the last heatwave in 2003, when 15,000 died.
It comes as medical staff in private clinics across the country staged a strike over pay and conditions. It is feared the strike could put added pressure on public facilities. Temperatures well above 30 Celsius have been recorded across Europe. In Germany, highs of 35 are expected in the next few days. Here, the elderly are being advised to drink at least two litres of water per day to avoid dehydration.
A runway at Hanover Airport had to be closed after it melted in the heat. However, seven people were injured and property was damaged in severe storms in Karlsruhe and Bavaria at the weekend. It is impossible to say whether it was the heat that drove a cow and her calf to take an impromptu dip in Switzerland. The bovine bathers had to be rescued from a 1.6 metre deep covered-over swimming pool near Lausanne after falling in. They are both safe and well and back grazing under the hot sun.