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Relief from heatwave for northern France but south still sizzles

Relief from heatwave for northern France but south still sizzles
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By Mark Armstrong
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Temperatures in northern France are dropping but the intense heat continues for many in southern Europe

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Parts of Europe are experiencing some relief as temperatures fall from record highs.

In northern France, the mercury has fallen by as much as 15 degrees Celcius over the past 24 hours.

But other areas are still baking hot including much of eastern and southern France. Thirty-two regional departments are still on orange alert with temperatures upwards of 35 degrees.

The extreme heat combined with an intense drought has caused numerous fires in France and Spain and has wreaked havoc with crops, ruining some entirely.

"We were supposed to harvest this week," said one tomato grower from the Gard region. "But now it is over. When the plants are suffering from the heatwave, and with the sun now, it's over ... they are burned, everything is burned. It's worth nothing now"

In the Alps too, temperatures have been exceptionally high in recent days. Thanks to warm air currents, many paragliding enthusiasts have been able to go to the very top of Mont Blanc.

On Friday, it was up to 13 degrees on the summit, whereas it would normally be freezing at this time of year.

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