French and Riviera News Monday 1st August 2022

News

Heatwave - The heatwave returns to hit the south of France today Monday 1st August, as records show that the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region experienced its hottest month of July since 1947. Five departments; the Ardèche, the Drôme, the Gard, the Pyrénées-Orientales and the Vaucluse were placed on Sunday on an orange weather alert. The ten other departments in south-eastern France have been placed on a yellow alert, including the Alpes-Maritimes but not the Var. A few days after an exceptional heat wave that lasted two weeks, temperatures were again high on Sunday afternoon from Roussillon to Provence. 36 degrees was recorded in Marseille, Montpellier and Perpignan and 38 in Nîmes.

Risk of fires - To limit the risk of fire, access to all the forests of Vaucluse has been strictly prohibited since Saturday. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, 11 of the 25 forests areas in the department were closed again on Sunday, after a complete closure for several days. The closure comes as new fires hit the south-east of France on Sunday. 200 hectares was destroyed in the Gard where five firefighters were injured, one seriously and the thick cloud of smoke led to the partial closure of the A9 motorway near Marseille.  In the Bouches-Rhône, about twenty kilometers from Marseille, a fire broke out at the end of the afternoon near Pennes-Mirabeau covering 35 hectares. Some 200 houses threatened by the flames have been protected. This time the smoke was visible above the A7 motorway, which was cut off to motorists.

France has already been hit by several large fires since the start of the summer. Nearly 21,000 hectares were destroyed in Gironde and 1,600 hectares in Provence, south of Avignon, in mid-July. The prefecture on Sunday announced that the Gironde department will once again be placed on red alert for the risk of forest fires.

Swimming once again authorised - Swimming has once again been authorized at three beaches in Nice on Sunday after being closed on Saturday due to pollution. Tests carried out in recent hours have proven to be reassuring. The ban on swimming at Beau Rivage, Centenaire and Le Galet beaches, bordering the mouth of the river Paillon, was lifted on Sunday morning.

British couple in their 80s found dead in their swimming pool - A British couple in their 80s have been found dead in their swimming pool at their holiday home in Gignac in the Hérault. The couple were discovered on Saturday night by their neighbours who were supposed to be coming round for dinner. Emergency services attended the incident but neither could be saved. The couple are reported to visit their holiday home in the Occitania region of France several times a year. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death, but it is not being treated as suspicious. One theory is that one of the couple witnessed their spouse drown and in coming to their aid, also sadly drowned.

2-year-old saved after nearly drowning – Meanwhile a 2-year-old baby has been saved after nearly drowning. The little girl, who was swimming in a private swimming pool in the village of Châteauneuf-Villevieille on Sunday, was rescued by a relative and evacuated by helicopter to the Lenval hospital in Nice.

And a second incident was reported in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez on Sunday after a one-year-old nearly drowned in a private swimming pool in the town of Cavalaire. Unconscious when help arrived, the baby was taken care of by the emergency services and evacuated by helicopter to hospital.

Young boy seriously injured in Jet-Ski accident - A young boy has been seriously injured in a Jet-Ski accident in Port Grimaud in the Var. The accident occurred early Sunday afternoon and the 11-year-old boy was air lifted to hospital. An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the accident.

No water or electricity in port of Porquerolles - After being without water and electricity all morning, users of the port of Porquerolles were able to resume their activities by early afternoon on Sunday. Due to a power cut, a tanker was unable to unload its cargo of water on Sunday morning. Users who have access to water from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. had to wait patiently.

Demonstrators remove toll barrier on motorway - About thirty demonstrators have taken over the pay toll on the A57 at Puget-Ville heading towards Le Luc-Toulon. The yellow vests staged their protest on Sunday afternoon, one of the busiest days on French motorways. After having removed the toll barriers holidaymakers passed for free for almost an hour.

French President arrives at Fort de Brégançon - French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived at Fort de Brégançon in the Var for his summer break although French media has referred to it as a "studious break" as the head of state intends to continue to follow several important topics including the start of the school year, employment, purchasing power and the environment. He will however nevertheless find time to participate on August 17th on the traditional commemoration of the Allied landing in Bormes-les-Mimosas.

Business

Crisis-hit Chinese property giant Evergrande says that one of its subsidiaries has been ordered to pay out £888.7m for failing to honour its debt obligations. The company must make the payment to a guarantor of its liabilities. It came just two days after it outlined plans to restructure its foreign debts.

Elon Musk's SpaceX company has been launching thousands of satellites into orbit. They're part of the Starlink project, which aims to provide high speed internet services from space to remote areas on Earth. It is aimed at people who live in remote areas who cannot get high-speed internet.

Octopus Energy is seeking £1bn in taxpayer funding to take over collapsed rival Bulb from the UK government. Bulb, which went bust last November, is currently being run by the state through the energy regulator Ofgem. The £1bn funding is part of a package being discussed where Octopus would also pay more than £100m for Bulb's customers as well as entering a profit-sharing deal with the government.

Sport

Football - England created history by winning their first major women's tournament in a dramatic Euro 2022 final against old rivals and eight-time champions Germany at Wembley. England beat Germany 2-1 in extra time - with 87,000 supporters at a packed-out Wembley Stadium cheering them on, not to mention millions more at home.

Formula One - The first part of the Formula 1 season ended with a gripping race in Hungary as Max Verstappen took his eighth win in 13 races this year. It was the 28th victory of the Red Bull driver's career and it might well have been the best. His team boss Christian Horner acknowledged it was "right up there".

Cricket - A dismal batting display saw a pitiful England suffer a heavy 90-run defeat in the deciding Twenty20 against South Africa to lose the series 2-1. England are next in action when a three-Test series against South Africa starts at Lord's on 17 August. Their next T20 assignment will come in a seven-game tour of Pakistan in late September before three T20s against Australia leading into this year's T20 World Cup in October and November.

Golf - Henrik Stenson won on his LIV Golf debut as he claimed victory in the third event of the breakaway series held in Bedminster, New Jersey. Stenson won the 54-hole tournament by two shots, taking the £3.28m first prize.

Weather

Sunny with highs of 31 degrees in Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Saint Tropez reaching 35 degrees in Marseille. A gentle breeze. This evening going down to 23 degrees with clear skies.

Outlook for Tuesday and Wednesday remaining fine highs of 31-32 degrees.

Sea temperature     27 degrees       UV level   9

Sunrise                        06.19hr              Sunset      20.53hr

 

 

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