PARIS, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Record-high temperatures and a long heat wave that swept France during the summer has claimed nearly 1,500 lives, most of them seniors, French health minister Agnes Buzyn said on Friday.
"There has been an excess of mortality that was obviously expected among very old people, probably less than 1,500 deaths due to this heat wave," the minister told CNEWS TV channel.
"It's ten times less than the heat wave of 2003 and less than the other hot episodes we've experienced in recent years. That proves mobilization in all sectors had borne fruit," she said.
In 2003, a heat wave that struck France killed between 15,000 and 20,000 people, many of them elderly and alone.
According to French weather agency Meteo France, France this July experienced the hottest month since 1900 with an average temperature of 23.2 degrees, 2.5 degrees higher than normal.