Evening Update Monday 18 July 2022

The heatwave is continuing across France today, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees in western areas. Several departments on the west coast are on a top-level Meteo France Red Alert for high temperatures. 69 other departments have been placed on an Orange warning, including the Alpes-Maritimes which is on an Orange alert until at least 6am tomorrow. Orange is the third highest of the four Meteo France alert levels. The Var is on a Yellow Alert.
The period from the beginning of June to the 15th of July has been the hottest in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region since records began. Temperatures have even exceeded those seen during the heatwave of 2003 which resulted in many fatalities across France. Prior to the current heatwave, the highest temperature ever oficially recorded in France was 46 degrees in the Herault department in 2019.

A reminder that the  French government has reactivated the "Heatwave info Service" toll-free number. You can call 0800 06 66 66  from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. It's a free call from a landline in mainland France. The telephone number provides advice on how to protect yourself and those around you, especially the most fragile, and how to adopt the correct measures during high temperatures. Authorities advise people to drink water regularly and stay cool, do not drink alcohol, avoid exertion, especially during the hottest hours of the day, remain extremely vigilant when swimming to avoid the risk of drowning, spend several hours a day in a cool place, refresh your home, eat enough, enquire about the wellbeing of loved ones and neighbours and in case of emergency or illness, call 15.

Motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes is recommending extreme vigilance to drivers, especially in the departments where temperatures could break records. It recommends that they keep themselves well informed about traffic conditions and have water with them in their vehicles. Water points are available at all areas of the VINCI Autoroutes network and there are air-conditioned spaces to accommodate drivers during their breaks.

The Prefect of Nouvelle-Aquitaine et Gironde has said this afternoon that despite the significant land and air resources beingdeployed, the situation regarding the forest fires which have burned since last Tuesday is still not resolved. By early this afternoon 14,300 hectares had been burned by the two fires. About 3,500 people were being evacuated early this afternoon in the municipalities of Landiras, Budos and Bali-zac. Authorities were also undertaking the preventive evacuation of the "Miquelots" district and Pilat-sur-Mer in La Teste de Buch, consisting of about 5,000 and 3,000 people respectively. Later this afternoon and early this evening the Prefecture also announced the evacuation of several further communes. Early this evening the Prefecture issued an update, saying that "the situation is very complicated" and the fire is spreading with more than 15,000 hectares burned. 1,700 firefighters from all over France, including the Cote d'Azur, are mobilized as well as 6 Canadairs and 3 Dash planes. Many roads remain closed.

President of the Nice Cote d'Azur Metropolis Christian Estrosi has expressed his thanks to the teams of workers of the Metropolis who intervened on the RM2205 near Saint-Dalmas-le-Selvage yesterday. Torrential flows of water caused by a storm resulted in the road being cut and several cars being stranded. The road was partially reopened this morning at the small village of Pra, and the affected cars were removed from the site. Authorities are aiming to reopen the road to La Bonette today.

On the Nice tram system, the timetables for lines 2 and 3 are modified from today until this Friday, from 10 p.m. until the end of service, because of works on the West Exit of the Voie Mathis impacting the tram tracks.

 

BUSINESS

The International Energy Agency has said that the EU must reduce gas consumption immediately to protect itself against a winter shortage. The organization said that the first immediate step towards filling European gas storage to adequate levels before winter is to reduce Europe’s current gas consumption, and to put the saved gas into storage. In a report published today it stated that Europe "needs to do be doing everything it can" to reduce the risk of major gas shortages and rationing "especially during the coming winter when its most vulnerable citizens can least afford to go without it".

Food delivery company Deliveroo has cut its sales forecast. In a trading update released today the company said that full year gross transaction growth is expected to be in the range of 4–12% against previous guidance of 15–25%. It added that management is confident in the company’s ability to adapt financially to what it called "a rapidly changing macroeconomic environment".

Starbucks is reportedly exploring a potential sale of its UK business but a formal sales process apparently hasn't been started. In May, the company said it is "single-mindedly focused on enhancing" its core US business. An article in The Times over the weekend said that the firm will continue to "evaluate strategic options" for its company-owned international operations.

 

SPORT

Cricket... Ben Stokes has announced his retirement from international one-day cricket after tomorrow's series opener against South Africa in Durham. He made his debut against Ireland in 2011 and has played in 104 ODIs. However, he'll still play Twenty20 cricket as well as leading the red-ball side.

Rugby Union... Rugby Australia has condemned the behaviour of fans towards England coach Eddie Jones after England's match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Jones was involved in two altercations with spectators who called him a "traitor". Chief Executive Andy Marinos said that the comments were "unacceptable" and "not representative of the values of rugby". He added that the organization has a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behaviour and is looking at "appropriate sanctions" for the individuals involved.

Football... Monaco are set to play PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League. The draw for the third preliminary round was made today.

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