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Paris to open pools and parks longer during heatwave

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Paris to open pools and parks longer during heatwave
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Rob Potvin
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The French capital has announced special measures including extended opening hours for swimming pools and parks to mitigate the potentially deadly effects of the heatwave descending on Europe.

Large swathes of western and northern Europe will this week swelter under temperatures reaching up to 40C, according to AccuWeather, with Wednesday and Thursday expected to be the hottest days.

Heatwaves can be deadly with the elderly and children most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. At least 30,000 people died across Europe in the summer of 2003 when the mercury climbed as high as 40C with 14,000 deaths recorded in France alone.

In Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced on Sunday that the Heatwave Plan Level 3 had been activated.

As such, "cool rooms" will be open in designated public buildings during the afternoon and additional water fountains and sprayers have been deployed across the capital.

A number of swimming-pools have been allowed to remain open past 10pm with swimming also allowed in the basin in the Canal de la Villette. Parks and gardens, meanwhile, will remain open at night.

Kindergartens and nurseries have been provided with fans and reusable water bottles with an additional 5,000 such flasks to also be distributed to homeless people across the capital.

Aid workers will increase their rounds to assist homeless people, while a number of shelters and public baths will extend their opening hours.

READ MORE: Temperatures of 35-40 Celsius expected to grip Europe next week

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